Lafayette Parish budget faces $10 million cut with failed tax renewals

(The Daily Advertiser) – Lafayette Parish officials may have to cut about $10 million from the 2017-18 budget now that voters failed to renew two parish wide property taxes, Mayor-President Joel Robideaux said.

Voters on Saturday rejected two existing property taxes: a 2.34-mill tax for the parish courthouse and a 2.06-mill tax for the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

Robideaux and his staff are just beginning to craft the 2017-18 parish budget for the fiscal year that begins Nov. 1. He’ll present the budget to the Lafayette City-Parish Council July 25 with final adoption set for Sept. 7.

Because Lafayette Consolidated Government is required by law to produce a balanced budget, he said, the budget proposal will reflect the loss of about $5 million in funds for the parish courthouse and about $4.6 million for the parish jail.

Voters may be seeing those two failed taxes on the ballot again. Robideaux said the legal department is researching the matter, but it appears the property taxes can be placed on the ballot again after waiting six months from the April 29 election. Officials may place them on the November ballot, he said.

According to complete but unofficial returns, the courthouse tax failed by a vote of 51 percent to 49 percent, or 13,111 to 12,597. Precinct totals show voters in the city of Lafayette largely supported the renewal. Voters in the five other municipalities rejected the tax renewal.

The jail tax met with a similar vote of 13,120 or 51 percent against versus 12,489 or 49 percent in favor. Precinct totals show voters in the city of Lafayette again largely supported the renewal while those in the other five municipalities rejected the renewal.

Voters in the city of Lafayette renewed an existing 1.13-mill property tax for city buildings, including city hall.

Another proposed parish wide sales tax to fund school buildings in the parish also failed.

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