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Mar 16, 2012 9:22 AM by AP

Lafayette may suspend bar levy

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette City-Parish Council is set to vote next month on whether to suspend collections of a security levy charged to downtown bars until the resolution of federal lawsuits that challenge the fee as unconstitutional.

A group of seven downtown bars are involved in litigation over the fee, and most have refused to pay the monthly assessment, which ranges from $150 to $5,000 per bar, depending on capacity.

The Advocate reports Councilman Brandon Shelvin, who represents the downtown area, has proposed suspending the fee until it's decided whether the fee is legal.

The council imposed the special security fee on downtown bars in 2009 with supporters arguing that bar owners should share in the cost of policing the large weekend crowds that descend on downtown Lafayette.

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