Tax on Oct. 19 ballot could be the difference between life and death

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services is looking for a renewal of a 3.13-mill property tax on Election Day, Oct. 19.

It's a 10 year renewal that makes up about half of the EMS operating budget, the other half is roughly made from some billing when people use EMS.

"It's not for one specific thing," says EMS Interim Director Chad Guillot.

"This tax is our base for how EMS operates."

Guillot says EMS saved enough money over the years to purchase their new headquarters with cash.

The tax renewal will go to help pay for their operations and their people which include 146 paramedics.

EMS officials say they responded to more than 52,000 calls for service last year and transported around 31,000 people to hospitals.

The tax renewal has always received little opposition over the 30 years that EMS has been in operation and serving the entire parish area.

More than 70 percent of voters approved the renewal time.

Officials estimate the property tax will amount to $7.83 for a property worth $100,000 under homestead exemption in East Baton Rouge Parish.

"It's the same tax millage that we've had since day one," Guillot said.

"EMS has paid a lot of attention to how we spend tax money and making sure we make good decisions with it. We feel like we have a quality service here."

Election Day is Saturday October, 19.

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