The St. George Fire Protection District will ask voters on Oct. 22 to renew two property taxes and its annual service charge.
The $32 annual service charge is expected to generate about $1 million a year, according to the proposition.
The money would be used for the development, operation and maintenance of the district’s facilities.
“It pays for insurance, fuel, all those types of things,” Fire Chief Gerard Tarleton said, adding that voters first approved the charge in 1991 and have renewed it once since.
This time, voters will be asked to approve the charge for the next decade. The charge is not subject to Louisiana’s Homestead Exemption.
One of the taxes voters are being asked to renew is a 10-year, 1.25-mill property tax, expected to bring in about $1.25 million annually for salaries, benefits and related expenses, according to the proposition.
Tarleton said the district has almost 170 employees and the money generated from the tax has been used to boost employee salaries.
The tax is subject to Louisiana’s Homestead Exemption. For a home assessed at $100,000, the 1.25-mill property tax would cost $3.12 per year after the exemption.
The owner of a $200,000 home would pay $15.62 a year.
The second tax voters will be asked to consider is a 5-year, 1.5-mill property tax expected to generate $1.5 million annually for capital improvements, debt service and equipment, according to the proposition.
Tarleton said the money would go toward short- and long-term debt as well as equipment purchases.
The tax is subject to Louisiana’s Homestead Exemption.
For a home assessed at $100,000, the 1.5-mill property tax would cost $3.75 per year after the exemption.
The owner of a $200,000 home would pay $18.75 a year.
Without voters’ approval of the service charge and the property taxes, Tarleton said, the district would have to amend the scope of its operations.
“It would put a serious hurt on us,” he said.
Tarleton added that the fire protection district has been a good steward of the money it has received from taxpayers.
“We would hope the public would look at us in a positive light,” he said. “We will continue to do what we have to do.”
About 100,000 people live in the 75-square-mile area served by the St. George Fire Protection District.