[Update, 3:35 p.m. Tuesday: Council Chairman Jared Bellard has confirmed the sales tax resolution will be pulled from the agenda.]
A resolution on the agenda for Tuesday night’s City-Parish Council meeting calling for an April city-wide vote on a new sales tax to fund public safety will likely not be addressed tonight. Councilman Jay Castille, who sponsored the resolution when it was originally brought before the council in late January, tells The Ind the council no longer has time to undertake the steps necessary for the election date specified in the resolution. The resolution was tabled for 30 days on Jan. 24.
“This current resolution has dates in it for an April 21 election, so it really doesn’t serve any purpose to discuss it,” Castille says. “There’s not enough time to go through the state bond commission and get that approved.”
Castille adds that the resolution will eventually come back before the council and target a November election for the sales tax, assuming the council passes the resolution and lets city voters decide whether to take on the new tax. We have a call and email in to council Chairman Jared Bellard to confirm the status of the resolution. Council Clerk Norma Dugas says she’s waiting to hear about the resolution as well.
Here’s a review of the tax and what it’s intended to address, taken from an earlier report at theind.com:
The half-cent sales tax would raise the city of Lafayette sales tax to 8.5 percent. The additional half cent collected on every dollar spent on retail purchases would be directed to the police and fire departments.
Currently in Lafayette, 5 mills of the overall property tax burden is devoted to public safety and generates about $6 million annually, but that 5-mill public-safety tax will expire after property taxes are collected this year. The half-cent sales tax would, according to projections, generate a little more than $16 million annually, representing a $10 million increase in public safety funding. Moreover, the new revenue would be generated by everyone who makes retail purchases in the city of Lafayette as opposed to only property owners in the city who are currently generating the funding. Food and prescription drugs, which are currently exempt from the state sales tax, would also be exempt from the proposed city sales tax.
The administration and public safety officials have justified the tax as a needed means of meeting increased operating expenses and infrastructure needs. According to the resolution before the council Tuesday, if the Lafayette Fire Department is unable to build two new fire stations — LCG doesn’t currently have the funds to build new stations — it runs the risk of having its fire rating lowered, which would likely lead to “a significant increase in insurance costs for residents and businesses” in the city.
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.