Later this month, voters in Evangeline Parish head to the polls to consider a one cent sales tax.
Although it’s only a penny, it could have a big impact on law enforcement.
Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory says this sales tax increase will help generate revenue back into the parish.
“The one we have right now is outdated and too small. Plans are to increase patrol because I only have two on duty. I need more investigators to solve crimes and they’re only three for the whole parish,” said Guillory.
The sheriff estimates the sales tax could help create as many as a dozen positions if it is approved with tax increasing from 9.45% to 10.4%.
"The taxes that I'm asking for is not a Charles Guillory tax, it's a tax for everybody. We're comparable to equal to the parishes the same size as ours. I can't have 100 percent of the vote but it will make Evangeline Parish a safer place, it will protect our children, and it will attract new businesses if they know there's a good law enforcement presence,” said Guillory.
Some in the parish don't think the tax help as Sheriff Guillory purports.
"We're considered in many studies as one of the poorest parishes in Louisiana. And I think that a tax increase, a sales tax increase, for us would set us much further back than it would move us forward," Business owner Brian Ardoin said. "I haven't seen any data that states raising sales tax for the purpose of lowering crime has produced any less crime in a community."
Voters will make a chose on the tax during a special election on April 24, 2021.
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