On March 28 voters in Lafayette will head to their polling places to decide a pair of tax propositions. One renews a 4.17 mills property tax for road construction and maintenance that generates about $7.8 million annually; the other renews, combines and extends separate property taxes — 2.06 mills for the public health unit and 1.50 mills for mosquito abatement — but also combines them into a single public health tax that will also fund improvements to parishwide animal-control services. The latter proposition is something City-Parish President Joey Durel has been pushing for more than a year.
The millage, 3.56, remains the same. In other words, it's not a tax hike. The mosquito-control and health unit taxes raise more than necessary to meet their needs — enough, supporters argue, to fold in animal control and improve its facilities without raising taxes. The combined public health property tax will generate an estimated $6.6 million annually.
Early voting for the election runs this Saturday, March 14, through the next Saturday (excluding Sunday). Early voting can be done at the Registrar of Voters office 1010 Lafayette St., Suite 313, adjacent to the Lafayette Parish Courthouse between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Here are the propositions voters will see on their ballots:
Shall the Parish of Lafayette, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), continue to levy a special tax of four and seventeen hundredths (4.17) mills on all property subject to taxation in said Parish (an estimated $7,800,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2017 and ending with the year 2026, for the purpose of constructing, improving and maintaining roads and bridges in Lafayette Parish?
Shall the Parish of Lafayette, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), be authorized to levy and collect a special tax of three and fifty-six hundredths (3.56) mills (“the Tax”) on all property within the Parish subject to taxation (an estimated $6,650,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the Tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2016 and ending with the year 2025, for the purpose of constructing, improving, maintaining, operating and supporting public health units, mosquito and other arthropod abatement and control facilities and programs and animal control facilities and programs, and acquiring furnishings and equipment therefor; said Tax to be levied in lieu of a 2.06 mills public health tax and a 1.50 mills mosquito and other arthropod abatement and control tax authorized at elections held on July 15, 2006 and April 30, 2011, respectively (the “Prior Taxes’’), and shall all proceeds of the Prior Taxes be rededicated and used for Tax purposes?