Sheriff’s Office millage passes by 61 percentApr 12th, 2013 | By Jessica Gonzalez | Category: Top Story
The 15-mill property tax to fund the Sheriff’s Department for the next 10 years was approved by 61 percent of voters who turned out for the April 6 election.
The measure was approved: 2,390 votes for, 1,531 against.
The additional 15-mills doubles SBSO’s budget to $9 million annually for the next 10 years. Currently, SBSO is funded through a 15.6 mill tax. Faced with anemic sales tax revenue, a drastically smaller post-Katrina tax base, rising drug-related crime, and a $2 million deficit, Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann said that a millage was the best way to insure future progression of the department.
“I think our residents understand the challenges to law enforcement and have a level of confidence that we can keep this parish safe,’’ said Sheriff Pohlmann.
Now that the additional revenue has been secured by voters, Pohlmann and his department are already looking toward the future. Addressing the $2 million deficit, hiring 12 new deputies for the patrol and drug enforcement division, and replacing several of the aging vehicles in the fleet are among his top priorities.
However, money from the new tax increase will not be available until property taxes billed December 31, 2013 are collected in early 2014. Sheriff Pohlmann said that although he has not decided anything yet, he
may opt to borrow against the 2014 anticipated revenue to address the $2 million deficit and to hire the 12 new deputies as soon as possible.