PPSO millage renewal set for Nov. 16 ballotSep 30th, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: news
The Sheriff’s Department is putting an item on the November 16 ballot that will keep their current millage rate at 6.57 mills. In 2012, this millage equated to nearly $6.6 million in revenue.
This renewal will not raise taxes in any way. It simply continues the millage passed decades ago to cover payroll expenses.
“I want to make sure that everyone knows that the passing of this will not create any new taxes,” said Sheriff Lonnie Greco. “It is simply a renewal of what we already have in place.”
This means that the Sheriff’s Department will be collecting approximately $6,424,000 per year for 10 years—beginning in 2015 and ending in 2024.
“This is very important for the safety of the Parish as well as the Department,” said Greco. “This millage makes up 32 percent of our budget. We’re asking our community for support on this.”
As of 2012, the Department has been working with a budget of approximately $14 million.
What if the millage does not pass?
“If the millage does not get renewed it will put us, as well as the community, in a substantial bind,” said Greco. “That would mean that there would have to be major cutbacks, and layoffs. Response times would be slower, and everything from corrections, to patrols, to the administration would be affected. This would put a heavy burden on everything.”
Greco also expressed that if this millage is passed they would eventually like to start setting aside some of the revenue to create a “rainy day fund.” If any type of tragic event happened—a hurricane for example—they would be able to use money from this fund to pay for it, instead of creating a deficit in the budget, but “it’s going to take us five or six years to get this Department back on track before that can happen.”
“This fund is something we really need to accomplish,” said Greco. “I’m worried about hurricanes. Before FEMA can reimburse us for any damages, we actually have to pay the expenses first. Right now, we have nothing set aside for such an occurrence.”
Hurricane Isaac cost the Sheriff’s Office $1.4 million dollars, so Greco is weary of not having any kind of back-up funding to help pay for such a disaster. Without money set aside, another event like Isaac may send the Parish further into debt.