LAFAYETTE, La. — Incoming Mayor-President Josh Guillory has issued a statement expressing his opposition to several new tax districts that are up for adoption this month.
The council introduced the ordinances that would create the new districts at their last meeting; it's up for final adoption tomorrow. Guillory says he doesn't want them adopted.
Here's his complete statement:
I am opposed to passage of the proposed new taxing districts being considered during the last meeting of the Lafayette City-Parish Council. I believe these matters are important enough that they should be held over until the new City and Parish Councils can give them thorough consideration and receive greater public input. This isn’t something we should rush through at the last minute without proper study and analysis. I believe the new Councils, freshly elected by our people, will be well equipped to give these proposals careful and thoughtful consideration.
I am concerned that these proposed new taxing districts send the wrong message to our people and to those who would come here to shop, stay and do business. While I understand the theory behind these districts, I want our City and our Parish to be known as business friendly, low tax jurisdictions that are more inviting to visitors who want to stay here and shop here. These taxing districts do the opposite.
These districts are specifically designed to be passed without a vote of our people, and I think that’s not a precedent we want to encourage. In our system of government, proposed tax increases are typically placed in front of voters for approval or disapproval. That’s the way it should be. Trying to circumvent that legal requirement by crafting districts that don’t contain any registered voters is not something I believe we should be doing.
I thank Mayor-President Joel Robideaux for his support and assistance during this transition period. I truly appreciate his support and encouragement. We agree on many things. We just have an honest disagreement on this specific issue. I also thank our current City-Parish Council members for their service, hard work and for their willingness to consider my concerns and opposition to these proposed ordinances.
I look forward to working with all of our local stakeholders to find innovative, business and taxpayer-friendly ways to grow and expand our local economy after our newly elected team takes office in January.
There are also several other items and ordinances up for final adoption on Tuesday's agenda including:
- Mayor-President Joel Robideaux will present more of his findings from his review of the LUS/Fiber issues that were discussed at last month's meeting.
- Robideaux's individual Economic Development Districts.
- Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux's ordinance giving a 5% pay increase for all employees of the Lafayette City Court.
- Robideaux's intergovernmental agreement with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office for housing city prisoners at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
- A budget amendment from Boudreaux for $601,546 that would go to fund, and possibly re-open, the Juvenile Assessment Center.