In a letter to the City of New Iberia, Mayor Hilda Curry said “I have decided to oppose the parish half-cent sales tax on the ballot for May 3.”
The parish wide tax will amount to about $7.1 million in revenue, she said. About $3.7 million of that will come from tax payers in New Iberia, but the city will only get back about $3 million for construction, improvement and maintenance of their roads and bridges and for acquisition of new equipment, she said.
“Nobody has a problem if we spend parish government money inside the city right? But ‘my god,’if there’s a little bit on the edge, you know? Let’s protect those city limit lines,” parish councilman Troy Comeaux said sarcastically.
Comeaux is now speaking out against Mayor Curry’s letter; in particular when she brings up an old sales tax that was passed about four years ago. The tax was for businesses in Iberia Parish near Highway 90 from St. Martin Parish to St. Mary Parish. In the letter she said, “Where are the millions of dollars collected from this tax being spent?”
“She knows very good and well we’re getting ready to spend $3.4 million on the Lewis Street and Admiral Doyle intersection project,” Comeaux said. The parish council had “no discussion with the mayor’s of each municipality” prior to proposing this new tax,” Curry said.
“These individual cities are going in different directions. This is another good example of why we need consolidated government in the parish,” Comeaux said. Curry said the tax would “not boost the city’s budget nor provide revenue to increase basic services,”but Comeaux said the tax was never intended for anything other than roads and bridges.
“They’re not worried about fixing the roads. They’re worried about trying to have enough cash to pay the bills they already have,” Comeaux said.