The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote tonight (Tuesday) on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.

The sales tax would be dedicated to the airport project and would only last for eight months — from April 1 to Nov. 30 of next year.

The idea is being called the “One Cent. One Year. One Project.” proposal and was first revealed by City-Parish President Joey Durel during his annual State of the Parish address earlier this year, sparking off an unexpected round of applause from the hundreds in attendance that day.

Supporters say there’s just no getting around it; the tax is needed. Lafayette Regional’s existing terminal was built in 1959, and after posting record-breaking passenger counts five years in a row, not to mention forecasts from the Federal Aviation Administration showing the airport’s passenger numbers increasing by 40 percent over the next 10 years, the new terminal is a must.

Faced with two options — refurbishing the old or building new — the Lafayette Airport Commission brought in engineers and learned that the cost of upgrading the existing facility would equal about 80 percent of the $90 million price tag to start anew.

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