Baton Rouge voters approved an increase of 10 mills for one fire protection district and renewals for two other districts during Saturday’s elections.
A tax increase for the Brownsfield Fire Protection District won overwhelming support from voters. Seventy-two percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the tax while 28 percent opposed it.
A tax renewal for Fire Protection District Six also easily passed with 71 percent of voters supporting it and 29 percent rejecting it.
Voters also approved a service charge renewal for Fire Protection District One. Fifty-seven percent of the voters approved it, while 43 percent opposed it.
The Brownsfield Fire Protection District’s 10-mill tax increase will generate an extra $200,000 a year for the department, which now has an annual budget of $750,000.
The district already collects 25 mills a year in property taxes as well as a $32 service fee per homeowner. The new tax will be in effect for the next 10 years.
Someone living in the Brownsfield Fire Protection District with a $140,000 house and homestead exemption, which is on the higher end of property values there, pays $162.50 a year plus the service fee for the Fire Department. With the tax increase, they will now pay $227.50 a year plus the service fee.
Brownsfield Fire Chief Carroll Campbell said the extra money would go toward building a new station or moving a station. He also said the department would like to hire more firefighters and replace a truck.
He said the extra tax money was necessary for Brownsfield to maintain its Class 3 rating, which is the third-highest a fire department can receive.
Fire Protection District Six primarily covers Glen Oaks and the “in-betweens” of Baton Rouge and Central’s city limits. Its 5-mill property tax renewal should generate $130,000 a year for the next nine years.
The Fire Protection District collects 40 mills in property taxes plus a $32 service fee per door. Fire bills should not increase as a result of the renewal.
A person living in District 6 with a $150,000 home that receives the homestead exemption pays $300 a year in fire taxes.
Fire Protection District Six Chief Joel Hancock said the money from the renewal will mostly go toward operations and maintenance, particularly servicing fire hydrants.
Fire Protection District One, which covers the unincorporated areas of East Baton Rouge Parish that surround Zachary, will also use the renewal of its $32 service fee per property to maintain fire service. The service fee generates $50,000 to $60,000 a year for the district.
Fire Protection District One also receives a 9-mill property tax to help make up its $350,000 annual budget.
The Zachary Fire Department provides the coverage for Fire Protection District One, which only is made up of a board.