Lafayette voters give both tax measures landslide wins

David Goldman Atlanta scene by AP Turnout was characterized as light in the six states holding primary races Tuesday, including Atlanta where inquiries into 2010 and 2012 voting problems contnue. Many contests were viewed as crucial for Republican establishment candidates who were looking to hold back conservative and Tea Party challengers. Latest results, 1B. In this May 16, 2014 photo, a voter casts her ballot at a polling site during early voting for Georgia's upcoming May 20 primary election in Atlanta. Fulton County officials are promising efficiency at the polls during Tuesday's primary, despite a lingering inquiry by the Georgia Secretary of State and Attorney General into ballot and voting problems during the 2010 and 2012 elections. (AP Photo/David Goldman) ORG XMIT: GADG201 (Photo: AP)

Both Lafayette Parish property tax propositions rolled to victory Saturday night, creating new possibilities for improved roads, bridges and ditches as well as providing the next city-parish government with the opportunity to build a new animal shelter.

“I’m thrilled,” said City-Parish President Joey Durel, who will leave office due to term limits before these tax dollars are ever collected. “We can offer solutions — the average person doesn’t get into it like we do — and I’m thrilled that the people recognize that.”

With all 123 precincts reporting, Proposition 1, which will extend by 10 years a 4.17 mills tax for road and bridge work, was favored by 74.39 percent of the voters. The measure would generate about $7.8 million a year, and would begin in 2017 and end in 2026. Complete but unofficial totals show the proposition passed by 3,471 votes to 1,195.

Voters also favored Proposition No. 2, a 3.56-mill tax that would fund public health units, mosquito control and animal control in the parish with 63.99 percent in favor. That tax would generate about $6.65 million a year. The tax would enable Lafayette to build a larger animal control shelter, if the next elected government approves. The tax would begin in 2016 and end in 2025. Complete but unofficial totals show the proposition passed by 2,978 votes to 1,676.

“It’s great news, fabulous,” said Dr. Renee Poirrier, a veterinarian who serves on the Animal Control Advisory Board. She said Lafayette Parish is one of two areas in the state beset with high rates of rabies, and said because of that it makes sense to put animal control under the public health tax.

She said both a new shelter and more animal caretakers are needed. Right now, she said, parish prisoners augment the staff in caring for animals.

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