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St. Martinville: New sales tax approved

Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 20, 2023

At Saturday's election, 70% of St. Martinville residents voted for a tax increase. Locals express how they feel about the increase, reacting positively.

Life-long resident Louella Alexander said she hopes the tax will help bring new businesses to the city.

"I feel it would help and we're all for improving ourselves in the town of St. Martinville,” Alexander said. “Well, taxes and new taxes coming in maybe new business could come into St. Martinville, where we don’t have to go out of St. Martinville like Iberia Parish, Lafayette Parish to turn around and do our shopping for you know... local vendors. See a lot more local vendors come in. St. Martinvillle.”

Mayor Willis said he expects the half-percent sales tax increase to bring in about $500,000 a year. This would allow for the city to be able to bond out a six-million-dollar loan. He said this extra money would go towards infrastructure improvement projects like streets, sidewalks, drainage, and park improvements.

“We feel excited,” Willis said. “We definitely want to thank the people for all who came out to vote. 70 percent speaks volumes. You know the people have spoke meaning that they believe in us. They believe in this administration to do the right thing, and for us to be able to fix things that we would never be able to fix without the support of this tax.”

Owner of Platinum Detail and Russell’s Detail Paint and Body Shop owner Jessica Alexis said she believes the increase will be beneficial. She's seen firsthand how the road’s current conditions impact vehicles.

“As a business owner, preferably from the body shop, we do have a lot of cars that will come in with some mechanical issues for front-end damage from hitting the potholes that we had.”

Alexis said although there is road construction already underway improving the main strip, the downside of this is roads are blocked and affecting business.

“I would like the roads to continue to be continued fixed first as their doing now,” Alexis said. “We would like to see. You know a speed on things because at the same time as business owners, I’m not the only business owner on the main street, we see a decrease in our business as well because of the construction.”

Mayor Willis said the tax will go into effect in April, and the next steps are engineers coming into the city to rank which streets and sidewalks need to be prioritized.