Nathan Stubbs

Failed sales tax dominates Durel speech

by Nathan Stubbs

In yesterday’s State of the City-Parish address, Joey Durel highlighted his accomplishments, but also dwelled substantially on what his administration was not able to accomplish, namely a 1-cent sales tax dedicated to infrastructure improvements that voters shot down at the polls in 2006. “It breaks my heart to see this progressive community fall behind because we want to wait for someone else to build our roads,” Durel said. “I hate seeing us lose our edge as we compete in a global economy to attract the businesses that will employ our citizens. We have lost 2½ years and obviously we will lose more time before we finally come to the realization that only we can influence the future by taking control of our own destiny.

“So,” Durel continued, “if you want a ‘Stimulus’ plan, that will circulate $600M+ in Lafayette Parish and actually put people to work and pay them salaries to buy homes and cars, as well as spend in our stores and restaurants, well, you know how to do it. We can build it, rather than waiting on Washington.”

Durel said later that given the recent vote and the current economic downturn he has no plans to bring the sales tax back for a vote anytime soon. In his speech, he also discussed the need for a parishwide annexation plan, increased police presence, and a new performing arts center for Lafayette. Watch a video of the speech or read the trancript here.