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Ward Six Fire Dept. to need new equipment

By Teri Parker

 

(Editor's Note--This is the final article of a 4-part series about Ward 6 Fire Protection District No. One.)

Ward Six Fire Protection currently has a 12.25 tax millage, which funds the operations of the entire fire department, including stations, maintenance, trucks and equipment.

Property tax in the United States is based on a property’s value. Calcasieu Parish Tax Assessor assesses property values every four years in order to figure your annual property tax. One mill equals 1/1,000 of $1, or $1 of tax for every $1,000 of value.

Calcasieu Parish allows for up to $75,000 of your property value to be homestead exempt, therefore your property tax is figured on the value above the $75,000. For instance, if your home is valued at $100,000, then you pay property taxes on $25,000. Based on a $100,000 property value, the property owner within Ward Six Fire Protection District No. One currently pays only $30.63 in taxes each year for fire protection. It is a very small price to pay in order to have reliable fire protection for your home or business.

If there was no fire protection, the annual insurance costs for home and business owners would double. As explained in part two of this series, based on an average $100,000 homeowner’s insurance policy, the quoted yearly cost would be $2,513.25 if the fire department has a Class 4 rating versus $5,113.53 for a Class 10 rating (no fire protection). The increase in annual insurance cost of more than $2,500 by far exceeds the current $30.63 in taxes that the property owner pays.

With the costs of vehicle, station and equipment maintenance, along with building and truck insurance steadily climbing, the current tax millage is barely enough to fund the everyday operations of the fire department. Six antiquated fire trucks will soon need to be replaced, a new fire station built, and the three stations built more than 30 years ago will need necessary restorations made to them. Only the support of the property owners within our district will make this possible.

We appreciate each and every property owner within our fire district for your support the past 31 years. Our volunteer firefighters provide professional service, dedicating their time and efforts solely to benefit the property owners within our fire district. We look forward to providing outstanding, reliable fire protection for many years to come.

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