These propositions do not amount to a heavy burden for individual taxpayers but are critical for our government. Were the tax renewals to fail, the effect on the city-parish budget would be significant ' even "devastating," says Dee Stanley, Lafayette Consolidated Government's chief administrative officer.
In the case of the parish courthouse and jail, the funds generated by the taxes now up for renewal are already insufficient for the upkeep required of these aging buildings. Consequently, the parish general fund subsidizes these two operations. Losing any of the dedicated revenue streams on the ballot would place more of a burden on our parish's general fund, giving LCG less means to manage the growing needs of the parish.
Already, local government is struggling to maintain basic services within our rapidly developing parish. Our police department has been understaffed. Several road and drainage projects remain long overdue. City leaders heard the message from Lafayette voters' overwhelming rejection of two new tax proposals last November: live within your means. The money generated by these renewals does just that and needs to be sustained to allow our government to do its job. Here's a look at each tax renewal:
Parishwide Proposition (Parish courthouse and jail complex tax renewal)
This tax renewal goes solely toward the parish courthouse, which used to also house the jail on its top floor. Most voters are probably familiar with the many safety and security concerns facing this 45-year-old building. This property tax of 2.34 mills, up for a 10-year renewal, helps fund its escalating maintenance and operating expenses. Generating an estimated $2.5 million a year, the tax will not fund any expansions or capital improvements of the current facility.
Parishwide Proposition (Parish minimum security detention and correctional facility tax renewal)
Like the courthouse tax, this property tax of 2.06 mills is solely dedicated to maintenance and operations of the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center and generates an estimated $2.2 million a year. Now a 25-year-old facility, the parish jail faces its own growing maintenance and operating expenses, and this fund helps offset those costs. The importance of keeping LPCC in good working order should speak for itself.
City of Lafayette Proposition
This property tax of 1.13 mills on all city property generates an estimated $975,000 a year and will only appear on ballots for voters within the city limits. It's a small price to pay when you consider its vital function: According to the city-parish public works department, this millage supports the maintenance and operation of an estimated 130 public buildings, including all city fire and police stations.
Commercial Core Sub-district of the Lafayette Centre Development District Proposition (Property tax continuation)
This property tax of 10.91 mills is only for property owners within the downtown Commercial Business District, which includes approximately 700 businesses. This is the first renewal for this tax, which was first approved in 1993 and created the downtown district. Downtown has come a long way in that time, and it would be foolish to stop that progress. The tax generates an estimated $335,000 a year, revenue that goes toward services ranging from security and trash removal to business recruitment and promotion to public events like Downtown Alive! We can only hope that the voters affected by this renewal remember what downtown Lafayette was like before Streetscape started the ongoing revitalization of our central business district.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.