December 21, 2011

The overgrown back acreage of a driving range on one of Lafayette’s busiest thoroughfares is classified as ag property. What gives?
By Heather Miller


FairShareDecember 21, 2011


The overgrown back acreage of a driving range on one of Lafayette’s busiest thoroughfares is classified as ag property. What gives?

By Heather Miller

Location: Lafayette Golf Academy Inc., 2231 Kaliste Saloom Road

Acreage: 13 acres total, acreage of ag land located at the back end of the driving range is unclear
Property taxes paid in 2010: $1,215 in total property taxes: $1,205 for commercial use and $10 for the portion of land that’s classified as agricultural use


Owners: Thomas Becnel and Patrick Gros of The Becnel Company Trust


Description: The 13-acre tract that houses the Lafayette Golf Academy has an unspecified amount of land toward the rear of the property designated for agricultural use, though the brush-covered area has no indicative signs of farm life or ag activity. Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor Conrad Comeaux says he is looking into the property’s status. An employee at Lafayette Golf Academy says the owner/manager is out of the office “until next year.”

[Editor’s Note: “Fair Share” is part of an ongoing Independent investigative series to expose local property owners who appear to be taking advantage of what is widely viewed as an outdated state law. The state law mainly relies on the honesty of landowners who claim there is some type of agricultural activity on their land in order to pay extremely low property taxes. While we argue that the law needs to be changed, we also maintain there is no excuse to exploit it. We have identified numerous tracts of land throughout the parish that benefit from the exemption yet have no agricultural activity whatsoever taking place on them.]

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