Two tax proposals for New Iberia - KLFY News 10

Two tax proposals for New Iberia

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New Iberia Mayor Hilda Curry and Mayor Pro Tem Dan Doerle agree the city needs more money for Public Works.

"We need new street sweepers, we need money to continue with streets and sidewalks," says Curry.

"We have no dedicated money or very small amount of dedicated money for public works," says Doerle.

But, Doerle says that's where his support of the Mayor's newest half cent sales tax proposal ends.

"If it's not dedicated directly to one department, I can't be for it. And I really believe the Parks and Recreation Department needs a dedicated sales tax," says Doerle.

Doerle says a half cent sales tax should go towards Public Works and Parks and Recreation, not Public Works and Public Safety, like the Mayor is proposing.

"Parks and Recreation is only getting $500,000 from a millage. I would love to do away with the millage and give the people a break on their homes and put it towards the sales tax," says Doerle.

The city already has a one cent sales tax in place to cover Law Enforcement, the Fire Department and Public Works, which brings in $7.2 million a year. Doerle says keep using it for Law Enforcement and the Fire Department, but Curry says that's still not enough.

"The Sheriff's contract alone has increased by $3 million, since I took office. In addition to that, every department has increased. The Fire Chief alluded to the fact that over the last 10 years his salaries have doubled," says Curry.

Curry says all Law Enforcement, including the Sheriff's budget, costs the city $6.4 million a year, so her proposal for a sales tax covering Fire, Law Enforcement and Public Works would still be stretched thin.

"3.4 million (from the half cent sales tax) would be great, but we still are not going to have that much of an increase in revenue when you look at the cost of the contract with Sheriff's Office and all of the other increases that we've had," says Curry.

In reference to Curry's proposal to include Law Enforcement under a new sales tax, Sheriff Louis Ackal says:

"This is a city issue they may need to handle, but this is not something the Sheriff's Office is asking from the city."

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