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Lafayette withdraws opposition to suit challenging taxes

LCG issues statement on decision to withdraw challenge
Downtown Lafayette seeing growth
Posted at 3:00 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 14:58:21-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — The City of Lafayette has withdrawn its request that a judge dismiss a lawsuit filed last year to challenge new taxing districts, court records indicate.

The city had filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in February, asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit. Last week, the city formally withdrew that Motion.

About a week before the original dismissal motion was filed, the Downtown Development Authority has filed a Petition of Intervention in the suit, expressing support for the city's effort to dismiss the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by Lafayette attorney Lane Roy on behalf of several citizens. At issue are five new taxing districts created by former Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, which were approved by the last City-Parish Council in 2019.

The lawsuit alleges the proper procedures were not followed in enacting the districts. Specifically, the council must hold a public hearing at least 30 days prior to adopting an ordinance and at least 30 days before enacting the district; and 10 days notice is required before the ordinances creating them were introduced.

After he was elected, but before he took office, current Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced his opposition to the districts, so it is not a surprise that he ordered the city's motion to dismiss the suit withdrawn. Some on the final council objected to the timeline of the vote, as well.

KATC requested a statement on the city's decision to withdraw the motion. Here is what they sent:

This administration has made it clear from day one that it will never support these taxing districts. The citizens of Lafayette should be the ones who decide whether or not to increase taxes, not the government.

The districts were created, and will levy taxes, without any voter approval. Additionally, the levying of the taxes and spending of the income will be overseen by boards made up of private indivduals selected by Robideaux. To read those details, click here.