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.
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.