Quarter-cent tax initiative for juvenile crime in WBR, Iberville & Pointe Coupee on Saturday’s ballot

Efforts to combat violence and juvenile crimes are becoming difficult, according to WBR District Attorney Tony Clayton.

The costs to prosecute those crimes continue to increase, which is one reason Clayton is asking voters in three parishes to approve his quarter-cent Law Enforcement District Initiative on Saturday, April 27’s ballot.

The district covers West Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Pointe Coupee parishes. 

The local sales tax amounts to one-fourth of a penny for 10 years. If approved, it would generate between $5 and $7 million, according to Clayton.

Residents who spend $1,000 a month would pay $2.50 for the tax to fight juvenile crime. The initiative will be paid largely by the chemical plants in Iberville Parish.

The proposal comes as a statewide 0.45 cent sales tax will expire in 2025. Once the sales tax expires, residents would pay less.

Proceeds from the tax initiative would fund violence and juvenile crime:

  • A tracking division that monitors gang activity in the three-parish area.
  • A Tri-Parish Intelligence Center in which law enforcement and the DA’s office coordinate investigation activities. 
  • A Tri-Parish task force and a prosecutor in each parish to intervene with trouble, including working with the school systems on truancy, re-directing and educating juveniles.
  • Assistance to programs that help juveniles and families, such as: 
  • CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) – Advocates for timely placement of children to permanent, safe, stable homes. 
  • FINS (Families in Need of Services) – Helps troubled youth and their families remedy self-destructive family and pre-delinquent juvenile behaviors. 
  • Truancy programs to keep kids in school.
  • Conflict resolution programs to teach kids how to resolve conflicts without violence and guns.
  • DA’s office, technology upgrades, the tracking of gangs, a tri-parish intelligence center and assistance for juveniles in trouble, among other issues.

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