Election Preview - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Election Preview

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - This weekend residents of Calcasieu Parish will have to decide if they want to renew several property taxes, as well as introduce a couple of new ones.

On the ballot, the district attorney has a new proposition, the sheriff's office has a renewal proposition, and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury has two propositions.

The District Attorney's office is asking citizens to approve a 3/4 millage property tax to fund a long term pay plan. This would allow for an annual three percent cost of living raise.

"When a defendant walks into that courtroom, and the victims are sitting behind us, we are their warriors in that courtroom. We need to maintain the highest level of professional capability that we can do in this office," said Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier. 

The district attorney will not be receiving a raise if this proposition were to pass.

The sheriff's office is asking for a renewal of a 7.58 millage and promises to roll it back to 4.39, if it passes. After Sheriff Tony Mancuso passed an earlier sales tax, to fund nine million dollars of capital improvements, he promised voters he would pay that back in property taxes. He is now he is making good on that promise.

"We paid for all of our capital projects, so he rolled back the property millages by nine million dollars, as he promised the tax payers he would do," said Stitch Guillory with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

The police jury is asking voters to pass a new 1.5 milliage property tax to make improvements in many areas.

"The state requires the parish governments to provide facilities for agencies like the sheriff, the district attorney, district court, and others. This is in response to their needs," said Bryan Beam Assistant Parish Administrator.

The police jury plans to use this money to maintain and make renovations to the courthouse, move family court in to a newly constructed building, move the District Attorney's office from its current location into the recently purchased 901 parish building, and they also plan to add a pod onto the Calcasieu Correctional Center, as well as building a new crime lab and coroners office.

The second police jury proposition would be to renew and increase a millage from 3.27 to 6.25 millages. This would go to fund maintenance of parish buildings.

At the end of the day, officials say, with the Sheriff rolling back their property tax, tax payers will end up spending less.

Based on a home valued at 150-thousand dollars, officials say if all  the proposals pass, the tax bill would be $12.17 less than last year, because of the Sheriff's office tax roll-back. That would make the tax bill $100.18 These property taxes only apply to  homes valued at more than 75-thousand dollars.

The polls open at 6am on Saturday morning. 

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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