Voters in Lafayette asked to renew police and fire tax for salaries and benefits

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Voters in Lafayette will soon be called on to vote on renewing a 10-year tax that funds the police and fire departments. The special mills renewal on all taxable property generates millions of dollars for salaries and benefits.

City of Lafayette Proposition No. 1 (3 mills renewal) raises $4.6 million for police salaries and benefits. City of Lafayette Proposition No. 2 (2 mills renewal) raises $3 million for fire salaries and benefits.

“It’s very important,” said Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit.

Benoit says establishing this tax has helped recruit and keep employees.

“For a long time we had a hard time hiring firefighters. A lot of times they left for other jobs. They couldn’t raise a family with the salaries we were paying them. Now that we have a descent salary from the millage, we can hire people, we can retain them, and they’re happy with the salary they are making. It lifts the morale up,” said Benoit.

Benoit says if the tax is not renewed, salaries and benefits would have to come from the city’s general fund. Police and fire would have to go back to competing with other city departments for money.

“This is your investment. You’re getting a good return on your investment over the past 10 years. You don’t want to lose that,” said Benoit.

If passed by the voters, the police and fire tax renewal would start in 2023 and end in 2032. Election Day is November 13th.

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