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.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.