Marksville rated one of best places to retire
Marksville dropped two spots in the ranking, but is still considered to be among the best places in Louisiana to retire.
In its annual ranking of retirement-friendly locations in the country, SmartAsset -- a New York financial technology company -- rated Marksville sixth. The Wheel City was No. 4 in the 2017 report.
This area’s relatively low overall tax rate was the main reason for the favorable rating.
The “best place to retire” study looked at taxes, recreation/social opportunities for senior citizens and availability of medical care.
That report found that a person retiring in Marksville would pay about 18.2 percent of their income in taxes. That was the lowest rate among the top 10 cities. That includes all taxes.
Lafayette was next with 18.9 percent.
Marksville’s other stats were 3.8 doctor’s offices per 1,000 people, 0.5 recreation centers per 1,000 people, 0 retirement centers and a population that is about 13.7 percent senior citizens.
The only noticeable change was the percent of senior citizens, which made up 15.1 percent of Marksville’s population in the 2017 study.
It is not known whether that is due to more young families moving into the area or because there were fewer “new” senior citizens to replace older residents who passed away.
Taking all of those factors into consideration, SmartAsset gave Marksville an overall score of 19.28.
The No. 1 city for retirees is once again Covington -- paying 19.6 percent in taxes, 17.0 doctor’s offices per 1,000 people, 2.6 rec centers per 1,000 people, .2 retirement centers per 1,000 people and 13.9 percent of the population being senior citizens.
Covington’s overall score on SmartAsset's survey was 37.75.
Marksville Mayor John Lemoine said SmartAsset’s report just confirms what he has known all his life.
“I’ve lived here for 64 years and I wouldn’t trade it for any other place in the world,” Lemoine said. “You are never a stranger here. People are friendly and always willing to help each other.
“It’s like the motto on the water tower, ‘Where Everybody Is Somebody,’” he continued. “I believe that’s why they chose that motto.”
Lemoine said Marksville and this area have more to offer than just low property tax rates.
“People come here and they like our cooking, our heritage and our outdoor recreation,” he said. “People have come to Paragon Casino, which is a big draw to the city, and they have experienced our hospitality and our food and have decided to come back to stay.”
Lemoine said the city has experienced slight growth in population, as reflected by an increase in housing occupancy permits.
“I will be interested to see what the city’s population is in the 2020 Census,” he said, adding that he expects to an increase over the 2010 report.
Lemoine said this area has good weather for those wishing to enjoy their retirement years. He said retirement income goes farther here than it would in many other areas of the state and nation.
Those wishing to buy or build a home can get much more house for their money here, and pay less in property taxes after it is built, he noted.