The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to table an ordinance that would have repealed a 50-year-old law giving retailers in the city and unincorporated parish a cut of the sales tax action. Since the early 1960s when the city first began levying a sales tax, merchants were given a 2 percent rebate in taxes collected as an incentive to remit the taxes on time. The rebate cost the city of Lafayette nearly $1.5 million last year.

But faced with opposition by the tea party people — the ordinance wouldn’t have increased taxes; it would have simply redirected the 2 percent rebate to local government and the school board, which, in the bright minds of the teapsters, don’t need any additional revenue to blow on art, culture, roads, teachers, police and crap like that — as well as concerns from the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the council voted unanimously to not make a tough decision.

Consequently, local business will continue to get a share of public tax dollars, an arrangement that Lafayette Consolidated Government’s legal department has opined may be illegal and one that other municipalities in the parish have already discontinued.

No word on when the measure might come up before the council again.

IND Monthly’s intrepid field reporter, Nicholas Persac of The Advertiser, has more here

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