BATON ROUGE - St. George Fire Chief Gerard C. Tarleton accused Baton Rouge city leaders of "tax mining" with recent annexation efforts.

Chief Tarleton claimed in an open letter emailed to news outlets Friday night that he was told by "friends in the business community" that they'd been approached by city officials trying to annex their property, and create a link to businesses on Siegen Lane in order to undermine efforts to create a new city in the St. George Fire Protection District area.

"What is the impact of the proposed annexations on the St. George budget? We don't know because there is no telling where it stops. The impact may be $150,000 to $300,000 next week, $450,000 next month, and beyond." said Tarleton in the letter.

The EBR Metro Council is scheduled to take up annexation petitions from the Mall of Louisiana, Baton Rouge General Medical Center, and Our Lady of the Lake on Wednesday. If approved, those annexations could force supporters of the proposed City of St. George to start their petition efforts from scratch.

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