St. Charles sheriff pushing for millage approval

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2005


Staff Reporter

Hahnville — The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office hosted meetings last week about the 3.75 mill tax proposition to answer frequently asked questions of the public’s concern about the July 16 election.

The two meetings were held at Hahnville High School and Destrehan High School, according to Capt. Pat Yoes of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne is having these meeting to get the residents involved to help them understand the proposal they will be voting on which would generate $2.7 million for salary increases for all employees and related expenses if approved, according to Yoes.

The related expensed include employment taxes, pension benefits, overtime and hospitalization insurance.

Some of the questions included why the proposition is necessary, how will the money be used, how will it affect property owners and if the Sheriff will get a raise.

According to information provided by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, the reason this is necessary is because they are no longer competitive with other agencies and local industry in the job market and unable to attract qualified applicants.

The money will be used to increase starting salary for deputies, even though over the past nine years the salary has raised from $16,800 per year to $26,084 per year. Despite the increase employees are still leaving for higher paying jobs.

The millage will increase the current salary approximately 15 percent to $30,140 per year, closing the gap and make the pay more competitive, according to Public Information Officer Pat Yoes of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff Office.

For property owners with an assessed value of $100,000 the increase in tax will be $9.38 more per year, for $150,000 the increase is $28.13 more per year and for $200,000 the increase will be $46.88 more per year.

Homes assessed at or under $75,000 will still have a homestead exemption, according to information provided by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

According to Yoes, the Sheriff’s salary is set by the Louisiana State Legislature and he will not receive any increase in salary as a result of this proposition.

According to information provided by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, the last time voters approved a tax increase for the law enforcement of St. Charles Parish was 25 years ago.