Mandatory annual fees for five new crime prevention districts in East Baton Rouge Parish were approved by the voters of their respective neighborhoods.
The neighborhoods approved annual parcel fees for property owners to fund additional police protection and beautification projects for the neighborhoods. Each of the districts approved the fees by more than 60 percent.
The following annual fees were approved:
- $150 in Riverbend neighborhood for 15 years .
- $120 for Forest Heights Park neighborhood for 10 years.
- $150 for Woodlawn Estates neighborhood for 10 years.
- $50 for Shenandoah Estates neighborhood for eight years.
- $100 for Southern Heights neighborhod for 10 years.
If passed by voters on election day, East Baton Rouge Parish will have 24 districts, which in total will generate more than $1.5 million for all the neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods independently contract with off-duty police officers. Some of them spend the money on surveillance cameras.
Critics of crime districts say it amounts to double taxation because parish residents already pay a variety of taxes that fund law enforcement and that security is a basic necessity and not something that should be purchased by those best able to afford it.