EVANGELINE PARISH — In Evangeline Parish, the sheriff wants voters to pass a tax he says would help the department's budget.
According to the sheriff his office is operating on a budget that hasn't changed much since 1977. It's around 2.5 million dollars.
The office is no stranger to financial troubles. Back in 2016, under former sheriff Eddie Soileau's leadership, there was a major budget shortfall of almost $700,000. It forced the sheriff to go to the state bond commission to make payroll. The department is still struggling.
The new sheriff says more revenue is needed to bring more protection to the parish.
For Larry Guillory, who owns Mae's Flower Shop in Ville Platte, a one cent sales tax could help the parish.
"I wouldn't mind paying an extra penny," Larry Guillory said. "If we would get the benefit out of it and it would help our sheriff's department."
It's something echoed by Sheriff Charles Guillory
"I have 2 patrolmen per shift right now and that's not sufficient," Guillory said. "I need at least 5."
The sheriff says the current budget is not enough, but by adding a one cent sales tax-it would generate 3.7 million dollars.
"February 16th date is for me to adopt a resolution to hold a special election on April 24th for my tax, " Guillory said.
If approved, the sales tax would help the department upgrade their equipment and hire more deputies.
"Just one penny turns into a lot of money," Larry Guillory with Mae's Flower shop said. "