WBR to consider boosting sales tax for sheriff
PORT ALLEN - West Baton Rouge residents could be handing over more money every time they make a purchase if they approve a half-cent sales tax headed to the March ballot.
The tax hike would bring in about $3 million a year to benefit law enforcement.
The proposed increase would give West Baton Rouge one of the highest sales taxes in the state, matching the 9.5 percent sales tax at Juban Crossing Economic Development District in Livingston Parish. Rates would increase in July, according to the state Bond Commission, which approved this week the measure's inclusion on the next ballot.
Sheriff Mike Cazes said his parish jail has expanded from 66 to 336 beds, making it more expensive to run. It may need to be expanded further, he said. The tax money could also be used for operation of other parts of the Sheriff's Office.
One resident said he doesn't want to see an ever-expanding jail.
"I want to see people getting help who need help," said Quinton Johnson. "I feel like it should go toward education."
Others are OK with paying more for law enforcement.
"I would support it," said Todd Scalise. "The sheriff does a lot for this community, so I would be in support of giving back to the sheriff and his department for the things that they do for us."