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Iberville, Pointe Coupee, WBR to vote on quarter-cent sales tax to fund new anti-crime effort

4 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2024 Apr 24, 2024 April 24, 2024 11:00 PM April 24, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

PORT ALLEN — Saturday, voters in Iberville, Pointe Coupee, and West Baton Rouge parishes will decide on a quarter-cent sales tax to fund a new law enforcement initiative.

District Attorney Tony Clayton says the money is meant to keep the streets safe and help the fight against street gangs. Law enforcement is in need of tools and technologies that enhance their ability to fight crime, he says.

Clayton believes this will allow officers to work with artificial intelligence and monitor criminal behavior, using social media outlets to perhaps predict a criminal's next move. A tri-parish AI center would make communicating about crimes between the three parishes easier, Clayton said.

It would also help fund court-appointed special advocates for children, and programs for families in need of services.

The tax would cost 25 cents for every $100 spent on taxable items. For every $4 purchase, it'd add a penny to the bill.

That money would go directly to the district attorney's office to help prosecute criminals. It would total about $7 million to $8 million per year.

"The good thing about that is, the money that's given to the DA's office, that's mandated by the constitution," Clayton said.

Clayton says the additional sales tax will require everyone to pitch in.

He said he also plans for the proceeds to build a way for school officials to identify troubled students and help them before they join gangs or get into other trouble.

Election Day voting opens Saturday at 7 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m. People in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

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