On behalf of the Lafayette Parish School Board, I’d like to clear up any confusion related to the passage of a resolution Wednesday that voiced the board’s opposition to the creation of a local sales tax exemption for the Cajundome and surrounding facilities.
The board does oppose, and always will oppose, the arbitrary exemption of any facilities from local sales tax. More than 70 percent of our tax revenue, which we use to run our schools, comes from sales tax. We can’t afford state-created exemptions from this income. Our children can’t afford it.
However, the school system understands the financial situation the Cajundome is in, and we approached Sen. Michot with the hope of producing a compromise which would preserve local tax revenue while offering relief to the Cajundome. Sen. Michot understood our situation and to his credit fashioned an amendment which would preserve local tax revenue by creating a state sales tax-exempt zone.
The resolution passed by the school board on Wednesday night does not oppose the compromise. It simply states the board opposes the creation of any local sales tax exempt zones — and we do. We feel that local exemptions should be initiated by local governments and not the state government. We do not oppose the Cajundome or the university’s exemption from state sales taxes.