Nov. 26, 2014 03:10 PM

With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.

 

Aviation consultant RS&H's rendering of Lafayette Regional's new terminal

With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.

The proposal calls for a 1-cent sales that will expire after eight months in 2015 - starting April 1 and ending on Nov. 30. If the tax passes, the money it generates will go toward building a much needed new terminal at the airport and increasing the airport's parking capacity by about 50 percent.

The existing terminal is 55-years-old and will be unable to accommodate the airport's steadily increasing number of passengers. For each of the last five years, Lafayette Regional has posted record-breaking passenger counts, and according to projections from the Federal Aviation Administration, passenger numbers are expected to continue increasing, jumping by 40 percent over the next 10 years.

This project is vital not just to the airport, but to the economy of Lafayette Parish as a whole. And it was the economic factor that proved to be the impetus behind Tuesday's endorsement from Broussard's council and mayor.

"Expanding and improving our airport is a huge part of our economy," says Broussard Mayor Charles Langlinais in a prepared statement issued Tuesday afternoon. "As one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Louisiana, increasing access to the city of Broussard is an important aspect of our businesses to expand and compete in the global economy. This tax is specific and the dollars are dedicated to this one project. I join my council in urging the voters of our city and the parish to pass it when they head to the polls next month."

Councilman Johnnie Foco echoed that sentiment, saying "This is the only time we have had a tax like this. The fact that it is for a limited time and addresses one of the biggest needs of our parish makes this an easy decision for us. I hope the voters of Broussard and the parish stand with us in ensuring its passage next weekend.

The parishwide vote on the airport tax is set for Dec. 6. If passed, it is projected to generated about $37 million toward the project's $90 million price tag.

Read more on this tax proposal here and here.