The City of Shreveport is preparing to ask voters to renew a sales tax dedicated to funding fire and police services.
The City Council will meet Wednesday, October 3, to consider scheduling a special election in December to renew the sales tax rate of .25%, the amount initially established in 2002 by the City Council and approved by voters.
The funds are used for salaries, benefits, equipment and personnel for the fire and police departments. The tax must be authorized by election. Voters first approved it for four years, and then approved a renewal in 2006. That authorization expires December 31, 2012.
According to the City of Shreveport, this is the one sales tax designation that "sunsets" or expires. Based on projections for 2013, the city says the sales tax will generate approximately $10.6 million for fire and police budgets.
"Approving this sales tax is obviously something we need to do in order to maintain the high level of police and fire department services our citizens have come to expect," Mayor Cedric Glover said in a statement released on Tuesday by the city. "Our crime rate for 2011 hit its lowest level in 36 years and we continue to make substantial gains through our targeted patrols and community policing efforts.
"And our Fire Department continues to set the standard not only for other fire departments in the state but throughout this region, so we need to make sure we provide our first responders the support they need to maintain this standard of excellence."
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