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.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Marijuana source of disputes for HOAs; experts say still safe to fly; Russian-supported attacks on Ukraine and more national and international news for Friday, July 25, 2014.
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Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
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As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
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The legal challenge is part of a continuing struggle over Common Core, which has become controversial since the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards in 2010.
The lone Democrat to announce he's running for governor, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, criticized Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics as "running the state like a big Ponzi scheme."
State police have arrested a 42-year-old Kaplan man in the July 7 hit and run fatality crash that killed a bicyclist on Louisiana Highway 92 near Milton.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy has picked up support for his U.S. Senate campaign from a former GOP competitor.