Sales Tax Santa Visits Lincoln Fire District

Sales tax proceeds from oil and gas construction projects in Lincoln Parish gave a boost to the 2014 and 2015 budgets for the Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1, it was revealed at last night’s meeting of the district’s Board of Commissioners.

In the original budget, 2014 predicted revenues (from a 1/4 cent sales tax collected in rural Lincoln Parish and Dubach) were estimated at $425 thousand. However, after a significant jump in October collections, Finance Committee Chair Bart Dugdale upped the total year estimate to $619 thousand. After a bit of discussion the board revised the estimated revenues to $720 thousand, predicting that the November and December collections would also be higher than originally budgeted.

Most of the extra revenues were allocated to wages, retirement, and workman’s compensation, as those budgets had been in the red earlier this year.

Sales tax revenues for 2015 were estimated at $558 thousand.

See here the documents:

2014 Amended Budget
2015 Proposed Budget

Commissioner Richard Durrett cautioned the board against expecting the windfall revenues to continue, as the taxes are the result of construction projects that will one day end.

Said Durrett, “That’s not going to be forever, that’s just a short term – through the first quarter of next year.”

Durrett is the former Administrator of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ), and has had considerable experience in dealing with public budgets.

30 Responses to “Sales Tax Santa Visits Lincoln Fire District”

  1. Bob Sherunkel Says:

    Let me guess…they will spend every penny anyway.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    i thought the new sales tax wasn’t going to anything wages/salaries related

  3. Vee Says:

    Way too much of our tax dollars are being siphoned off for personal benefits for persons elected to part time positions.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Stop and think about what each of you just posted. What do you think the rest of the parish and city’s governments are going to do with the money they get!!!! You three might want to think about who you will be calling when you need to call 911 for help!!!! Oh that’s right your going to call a Lincoln parish agency then complain about the tax money!!!!

    • Anonymous Says:

      Pro Fire, Are you up to your old habits ? Tsk, Tsk, Why don’t you get a real job ? But once on the Government tit, always on it. You will never have enough .

  5. WhoMe Says:

    In reply to Anonymous and Vee: all the payroll of the fire system is for employees, none of the board members are compensated.
    None of the police jurors are eligible for insurance or retirement; I don’t know for certain but I think the same situation exists for school board members who are also part-time elected officials.
    As I recall, the 1/4 cent sales tax for the fire system, was sold to voters with a promise to use it to man several of the fire stations full-time. This turned out to be much more expense than the tax income could support.
    The former chief was trying to turn the volunteer system into a all paid employee system, and rural Lincoln parish cannot afford to support the expense. It would end up being the largest tax in the parish.

  6. Cowboy Says:

    The Lincoln Fire District has been more trouble than it was ever worth for a long time and voters would do well to close it down when they finally get the chance to vote on the tax again in another ten years. Rural fire protection is the epitome of big government gone nuts as the supposed “protection” never existed and was never needed. Fire departments exist in cities to extinguish fires so they don’t spread and burn down the entire city like the great Chicago Fire of 1871 started by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. Rural buildings are spaced far enough apart that the risk of fire spreading is virtually nonexistent.

    People, the nanny state can NOT protect you like it promises! The gun control debate reminds us that when seconds count, the police are minutes away! The same is true of fire protection, especially volunteer fire protection where volunteers have to travel from work in Ruston to man a station out in the parish. They can’t get there fast enough to save anything even if the stations were manned.

    Big government is imploding all across the country because it can’t deliver what it promises, and its promises were sold on false pretenses. We were promised back in 1992 that there would never be a paid force and that the taxes would only be applied to houses, both of which have been broken in attempts by Thompson and Ford. Remember that Ford is suing the district for additional income after going on disability to be a permanent burden on us taxpayers!

    It took us a year and a great deal of effort to pry Thompson and Ford out of there, but we can never relax from that because there’s always another Thompson and Ford waiting to take their place and start the whole thing over again. It’s better to never start these unnecessary little government bodies in the first place because we don’t have the time or inclination to watch them like they need to be watched, and the media has demonstrated that it no longer cares to fulfill its traditional role as the Fourth Estate watching government for us.

    • Anonymous Says:

      If the LPFD ceased to exist good luck getting insurance on your home. Apparently you have a ton of money stored up somewhere to be self insured and replace your home if it is destroyed by a fire. The vast majority of the rural residents in Lincoln parish do not have the luxury that you do. We will gladly pay the $72.00/ year and 1/4 cent sales tax to insure that if we do lose our home to a fire it will be covered. Not to mention that you can not finance a home without proof of insurance, therefore killing the housing market in Lincoln Parish and killing the value of your prized property that you take so much joy in self insuring.

      • Mr. E Says:

        Absolutely NOT TRUE! You fire district workers need to stop spreading these lies! Homeowners in Lincoln Parish were able to insure their homes at reasonable prices before 1992. Once again, you liars count on people not remembering how things were prior to 1992!

      • Anonymous Says:

        Call you insurance agent and see. I did and my insurance rate would increase by over $500/year. I will pay $72 over $500 any day.

        • Mr. E Says:

          You just proved my point. In your initial comment, you claimed Lincoln Parish homeowners would not be able to obtain ANY insurance for their homes without the first district, but now you claim that they can but it will be more expensive. And, your situation is different from every other situation and is not comparable. No inferences can be drawn from your particular insurance situation as one case is not enough of a sample to draw conclusions about the entire parish. You absolutely ARE spreading lies about insurance coverage to promote the fire district! Just stop it!

  7. Me Says:

    I challenge each one of you that complain about the fire tax and fire district to join the department for one year as a volunteer fire fighter instead of fussing about everything. Meet the men and women that volunteer their time away from family and jobs to help protect life and property of Lincoln parish. As I’ve said before who are you going to call when you need help?? And yes I am a volunteer and I see the faces of the people that call on us to help them in the time of need. I work beside all of the volunteers and paid guys and yes it takes ALL of us to get the job done!! Ask the LPSO, LSP, RFD, RPD, GFD, CFD who do they call in Lincoln parish when they need help on a emergency related incident or a lost child or senior citizen that’s right they don’t question us they just call us for help and we leave our family’s, jobs, church or whatever we are doing and we respond no questions ask but yet you want to talk bad about everything. When you do need help and I hope and pray that you never do I guess you will have to call on help from another parish or state because you don’t want the Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District #1 to help you. And don’t forget to pay your $72.00 tax this year. Thanks

  8. Me Says:

    Look at picture in the Ruston Leader of the Firemen, EMT’s from LPFD#1 working with flight crew loading patient for transport. I bet the patient didn’t complain about the fire department!!

  9. Bob Sherunkel Says:

    Maybe this conversation has gone astray from what I brought up regarding all of the tax revenue being spent. My question is simply who’s money is it. If YOU want a four wheeler, you save and get only what you can afford but the public sector says, “We ‘need’ a four wheeler, just in the off chance a rescue takes us beyond where we can walk,” and they buy a side by side with every bell and whistle possible. The citizen settles for that which conforms to his budget while the public sector brings out its toy for a couple of parades and perhaps one “rescue” use every five years, during which time, it must be replaced. You get the picture?

    Now think for a moment how many hundreds of private citizens would gladly go help with their own four wheeler, at their own expense, leaving family, job, church or whatever on virutally any rescue scenario.

    The job will get done regardless of public or private and government largess will continue. Public employees justify the expense on everyone in their minds and I don’t blame the firemen, police, etc. It is how they feed their families.

    To quote Ronald Reagan…
    “Fear the man who says, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

  10. Me Says:

    Well a rescue doesn’t need every Tom, Dick and Harry coming to the rescue YOU NEED TRAINED people with the right equipment when the call happens not minutes or hours later!!! Be real people. Let the commissioners do the job they are appointed to do and if it doesn’t work you need to blame the ones that appointed them not the fire dept.

  11. Bob Sherunkel Says:

    Hey “Me”
    Diverting the issues that were exposed do not change my point. I agree that fire, police, etc are indeed, trained PROFESSIONALS! I never argued that; merely the vast expenditures that reveal government largess.It does not negate the validity of my point. I contend that there are plenty of folks in this area that would happily (again at their own expense) take training if that is needed.

    To me, the argument you make addresses the infantesimal small percentage of times that neighbors cannot help neighbors.
    Lincoln parish owns a humvee for crying out loud…We really DO NOT NEED it. But it was purchased ONLY because the money was there.

  12. WhoMe Says:

    The issue is not the capability or performance of the firemen; their service is valuable and appreciated.
    This is about what the parish can afford to pay for. The fire district as originally envisioned was affordable at the time it was proposed; critics at the time warned of two possible problems: (1) the system would face pressure to grow beyond a volunteer force, and the expense would grow exponentially to the point of unaffordability; (2) in any case, the aging and depopulation of rural Lincoln parish would result in a dearth of volunteers which would likely place the long-term viability of the system in doubt.
    As it turns out, both predictions were spot-on. Add to these problems: all the equipment being the same age, and potentially needing replacement about the same time, which is not financially possible for the system, plus spending the money in the capital equipment replacement fund on payroll-related expenses when tax income did not meet original (overly optimistic) projections.
    Police, firemen, medical professionals, teachers, and lots of other people are important to a community; all tend to defend “their” profession as being deserving of unlimited funding, yet there is never enough money. Period. Fact of life which cannot be overcome.
    Not every daddy can buy their teen age daughter or son a new Mustang, no matter how much they love them or how nice it would be. It doesn’t mean they aren’t loved, it is just a practical reality of life.

  13. Oldman Says:

    Public officials are the same all over. This sounds just like Jonesboro fire dept,always asking for money .We really need a new fire chief,someone who knows how to handle money.

  14. Cowboy Says:

    My goodness! How did we ever make it BEFORE you “trained professionals” got on the job? How did we mere citizens ever manage to get by without all these services you “volunteers” claim we need so badly? Why, we managed to fend for ourselves, that’s how!

    There’s a big tendency to forget what life was like before the nanny state came along to “protect” us from every possible contingency. We made it just fine before the rural fire district was created, and a close look back at history prior to its creation will show just how few fires there were.

    A fact of life is that there is no amount of preparedness or trained professionals or emergency services that can protect citizens 100% of the time. A cost-benefit analysis must be performed to establish the benefit of the proposed expenditure instead of just declaring that it is needed and the money must be spent. The money taxpayers provide for this service is not available for any other use that might be needed even more than fire protection for the one odd rural fire every twenty years. And remember this, that taxpayer money comes out of a taxpayer’s pocket – one who might need that money more to feed his family than to provide unnecessary rural fire protection!

    The citizens of Lincoln Parish don’t owe anyone a living!

    • Oldman Says:

      I agree with that,you are 100% right on what you say. Goverment is out of control,it’s time to cut back to no more than we can pay for.

  15. ThrowMeSomethingMr Says:

    People mostly not voting will never bring government under control. There is unlimited demand for two things: free stuff (handed out by government) and good-paying (government) jobs.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    I wonder what th DA,Police Jury,Sherriff,Detention Center etc. will do with the extra money they get? Oh that’s ok what they do. They can hire all the people they want and it’s ok to spend the money and nobody says a word but let’s pick on LPFD because they didn’t like Ford! People Ford is gone get over him let’s move on!!! Please!!!

    • Mr. E Says:

      You liberals are always quick to shout “let’s move on” when one of your little schemes backfires and the public starts paying attention. No, let’s absolutely NOT move on and forget about the power grab of Thompson and Ford because as soon as the public forgets, there will be another Thompson and Ford ready to pop up and repeat the whole sordid mess! You regressives are the worst in the world about beating a dead horse, be it George Bush or even Joseph McCarthy or the “vast right wing conspiracy” of Hillary in one of her drunken stupors. It’s all fine and good for you to rehash every little supposed incident on the right in your fabricated narrative, but boy we have to forget your little attempts at totalitarianism ASAP!

      Thompson and Ford were all set to stick it to Lincoln Parish taxpayers until the public got wind of it and started paying attention. Yeah, I bet you really would like us to forget that and just “move on.” Yeah, you and George Soros!

    • Bob Sherunkel Says:

      Diverting attention from this issue does not make it disappear.
      Yes, the LPSO budget has tripled under our current sheriff and that has not gone without notice.
      This post by Mr. Abbott deals with the LPFD…

    • Anonymous Says:

      Pro-Fire ? Is that you Pro-Fire ?

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Yes jonesboro needs a new fire chief very bad. I hear he wants to pay someone to fill out the PIAL packet at a cost of $4,500. Why can’t he fill it out? The other Fire Chiiefs did. I heard he wears his pj’s or shorts to a call. How can the volunteer’s stand to be around such a person. Feel sorry for jonesboro.

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    Sales Tax Santa Visits Lincoln Fire District | Lincoln Parish News Online

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