LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury held a public meeting Tuesday morning to discuss upcoming tax propositions that will appear on the ballot October 2nd.
The first proposition asks for a continuation of the current 3.27 mill property tax that would provide funds for courthouse and jail maintenance costs.
"The two most important things to remember about this tax is for one it's not a new tax, and two it is not an increase," said Bryan Beam, Parish Administrator.
CPPJ has already cut back on purchasing new company vehicles, hiring new employees, and implementing larger scale non emergency maintenance projects.
Despite those cutbacks, without the passage of this tax jury officials said they cannot maintain the current level of services it provides to the residents of Calcasieu Parish.
"Police juries by law have to provide so much space for these agencies," said Beam. "For a parish the size of Calcasieu at roughly 185,000 people, it's really a big responsibility."
Sheriff Tony Mancuso said the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office is feeling the pinch.
"The people in my crime lab are working in a space about the size a quarter of this courtroom," said Mancuso. "That's why we went to the public several years ago and said this is what our needs are."
The other issue on the ballot is the 1.50% sales tax for roads and garbage collection for residents living in unincorporated areas with the exception of Ward 1 (Moss Bluff, Gillis).
The tax was renewed for 10 years in 2002, and has been levied since then at a reduced rate of 1.25% to save tax payers money.
"We have to go back to the 1.50 % tax due to a matter of cost," said Beam.
Parish officials said that if the tax does not pass, residents would have to begin paying a monthly fee which is approximately $16.00 to $20.00.
For more information on the two tax propositions click on "CPPJ" to the right.