The City-Parish Council on Tuesday, Dec. 3 will revisit an ordinance that would end the 2-percent cut merchants in the city and unincorporated parish get for remitting sales tax collections on time. However, the ordinance has been modified to phase out the compensation over a two-year period.
The ordinance, originally sponsored by Councilmen Jay Castille and Kevin Naquin, has had a rocky path since it was first introduced last May. It was discussed, shelved and by June, faced with opposition from business owners and others, was shot down by the council. Castille and Naquin are Democrats, but the ordinance has picked up two Republican sponsors on the council, Don Bertrand and Keith Patin. The swing votes needed for the ordinance to ultimately pass will likely be either Chairman Brandon Shelvin or Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux, Dems, as tea party Republicans Jared Bellard and William Theriot are unlikely to countenance the measure.
If passed, the ordinance would cut merchants’ compensation in half, from 2 percent to 1 percent, beginning on January 1, 2015. A year later, beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the compensation would end entirely. Eliminating the 2 percent cut to merchants will raise an estimated $1.5 million in additional sales tax revenue for Lafayette, depending on the health of the economy.