LAFAYETTE, LA — During this week's Lafayette Consolidated Government Transition Committee meeting, the topic of annexation laws in the parish was brought up. As unincorporated areas start to develop, the surrounding municipalities annex the land and reap the sales tax benefits. The Parish of Lafayette receives none of the sales tax once the land is claimed by a city.
"There's a lot of things that we keep getting the bill for but year by year for the last 20 years, our revenue has continued to decline. Meanwhile, our mandates and our expenses have continued to increase", Lafayette Parish Councilman-Elect Kevin Naquin explained. He says, "we're in a crisis situation where the parish can not continue to survive if we continue to annex and revenue continues to be stripped away from the parish."
The parish's general fund is used to pay for services like the sheriff's department, courthouse and jail, as well as fire protection and parishwide infrastructure. One solution he proposes is a parishwide agreement to share the revenue on new annexations, "I would like to see that if any future annexations take place, that that revenue be splity fifty fifty between the parish and the city of Lafayette, or that municipality."
The issue is likely to be one of the first addressed once the new Lafayette City and Parish Councils take office in January.