Shreveport voters to decide fire and police tax renewal - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport voters to decide fire and police tax renewal

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

There is still one more election day this year on December 8th. Early voting has already started. In Shreveport, voters will decide if they want to renew a sales tax proposal for the Fire and Police Departments.

The Shreveport Fire Department says right now they can respond to a fire or medical emergency anywhere in the city in about 2 to 4 minutes, but that may change if voters do not approve the 1/4% sales tax renewal.

"It would definitely mean that I would have to lay off some people, and in laying personnel off you don't have the personnel to operate whether it's certain stations, whether that means daily brownouts or blackouts of certain neighborhood fire stations," said SFD Chief Craig Mulford.

The quarter of a cent sales tax means for every $4 spent in Shreveport, $.01 of the taxes will go to the Fire and Police Departments. It raises an estimated $10-million a year that the 2 departments split.

"It's personnel, tools, and equipment that we use every day to provide the service that we provide for the citizens of this community," said Mulford.

If the measure fails, Shreveport would have a slightly lower sales tax rate, but according to Mulford you might end up paying it else where.

"In cutting services, it would be a detriment to our Class 1 rating, which then in turn impacts our home insurance, our property insurance rates," he said.

Mulford hopes lots of people go to the polls to support his department, but so far turnout is low. Only 46 people cast a ballot in Shreveport during the first 2 days of early voting.

"It's your money, that's a reason why you always want to take an opportunity to vote, and then the second thing is it involves pretty important agencies. We depend on both of them, so you ought to consider this issue," said Caddo Parish Registrar of Voters, Ernie Roberson.

Early voting runs everyday until December 1st from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Election Day is Saturday, December 8th.

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