St. George Fire District seeks $2 million tax hike
BATON ROUGE - Elections this weekend could lead to higher taxes for some in East Baton Rouge Parish as voters will be asked to approve a property tax increase and renew another.
The St. George Fire Protection District put two separate tax proposals on the May 2 ballot.
The first, a new ten-year 2 mill property tax to raise $2.2 million a year to help the department hire more firefighters and build a new station; the second is a tax replacement of a current 1.25 mill tax that is set to expire.
St. George Fire Chief Gerard Tarleton said the money would be used to make necessary improvements that would improve the quality of service they provide.
"It's not about the money," Tarleton said. "It's about being able to save lives and property. It's about being able to do a better job. It's about training people to a better, higher level. It's about being able to do this quicker, better, stronger, easier."
Tarleton said it would also reduce their response time, something they struggle with in certain portions of their district.
"It's a minimal amount of money that would allow us to increase our ability to respond," Tarleton said.
If the renewal gets approved, Tarleton said residents with $100,000 homes would pay an additional $5 a year.
According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Tax Assessor's Office, the department had $15.8 million in revenue last year.
If the new 2 mill tax gets approved, they will have a combined total of 16 mills, that would generate $18 million a year.
Polls open at 7 a.m. Saturday with voting held until 8 p.m.