Voters in Lafayette Parish to vote on tax re-dedication for drai - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Voters in Lafayette Parish to vote on tax re-dedication for drainage and CREATE

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Voters in Lafayette Parish are being asked to make decisions on three existing property taxes in a little over a week.

The first proposition is a re-dedication of the public health millage.

Taxpayers would pay the same amount as they are now; however, a portion of the millage would now be re-directed towards drainage and a tourism initiative.

A 'yes' vote will also make $9 million available immediately for drainage. It would also provide $500,000 for a new tourism initiative called CREATE; however, there is some disagreement about how the money is being divided.

One of the areas that flooded in August, and again last week, is Plantation Townhomes, located off of Kaliste Saloom.

"It's the most frustrating thing I've ever had to do professionally, to ask a government that we depend on to help and they completely push us to the side like we're second- grade citizens," said the association president for those townhomes, Kyle Miller.

A tax rededication for drainage will be on the upcoming ballot, it is also linked to CREATE, which is designed to boost tourism.

"Every councilman and woman voted to allow voters to vote on whether or not to dedicate 11 and a half million to drainage except for Mr. Theriot. There's one component, an economic component of $500,000 that was included on that initiative and that was used as the excuse to vote against it," said Mayor-President Joel Robideaux in Tuesday night's council meeting.

We asked Robideaux's office why the two initiatives were paired together for this rededication, but he was unavailable for comment.

"Tourism has been phenomenal for Lafayette and the state of Louisiana, and I would like to see it grow, but if we don't have a place for people to come and visit and enjoy places that we live, then it makes no sense," said Miller.

"Imagine the bad press this parish will get if we continue to urge people to move here, buy a home, it floods and they lose the largest investment most people make in their lives," said Theriot.

The other two propositions are tax renewals that would fund the courthouse and the jail.

They failed in April, but they're back up for consideration again.

Officials say without that money, they would have to pull funds from other parts of the budget because both must stay open.

The election will be held November 18th.

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