Sheriff asks voters to consider renewing millage tax

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POSTED: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 6:12pm

When you step into the voting booth later this month you'll be asked whether you want to renew a tax that helps fund the sheriff's office. East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux hopes you will vote "yes."

"If we were to lose that, we would have to look at making some extreme layoffs and cut backs in our services and our facilities, so I don't think anyone wants to see that happen," explained Gautreaux.

The millage tax is one that property owners in the parish already pay, the item up for vote would simply renew the tax for another ten years. Sheriff Gautreaux explained that the millage tax makes up about 30 percent of their budget and helps pay for just about everything that goes on at the sheriff's office.

"There's no one entity, I don't think at this point, that we could look and say, 'well, we're going to cut 30 percent here and it's not going to effect the rest of our operation' because it's just impossible to do," added the sheriff.

Sheriff Gautreaux said he has come across a very few people who are opposed to the renewal, but the people we spoke to are all for it.

"Our law enforcement has a hard enough time with their budget, we just need to help them out in any way we can. They’re very hard working and we certainly want to keep our community safe," weighed in Alyse Stevens, a homeowner who supports the tax.

"We definitely need the protection, and we're not going to miss it out of our mortgage payments, that's just the way I see it," added Aaron Cormier, another EBR resident in favor of the renewal.

The sheriff said he is hoping the majority of voters will also agree and pass the renewal of the tax which helps pay for deputies salaries, facilities and other operational costs.

"We can't afford to take that step backwards especially when it comes to our fight on crime, we made some giant strides in the last several years and like I said, we can't afford to take a step backwards," said Gautreaux.

The tax is paid by everyone who owns property in the parish, the Sheriff explained that if your home costs about $100,000 you pay about $17.00 a year for that millage tax.

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