NewsVermilion Parish


Vermilion turnout very low; tax for teachers rejected

Attorney for Vermilion Parish School Board resigns
Posted at 8:39 AM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 09:39:19-04

Turnout was low for Saturday's election, meaning less than 15 percent of the registered voters in Vermilion Parish rejected a tax that would have raised teacher salaries.

The half-cent sales tax would have raised about $4.3 million annually and was to be used to increase salaries for teachers and support workers.

The total voter turn out was 13.6 percent, according to the Secretary of State's office. That means a little more than 5,100 people decided the tax for the entire parish - where more there are more than 37,000 registered voters.

Superintendent Tommy Byler posted about the failure on his public Facebook page, thanking supporters and lamenting the "power of social media and the ability of folks to put out information that is nowhere near the truth."

Byler said he is disappointed for parish employees.

"The past 21 months we have done all that we can to be transparent, bring the board back together and put the priorities of our school system first, and have been as fiscally responsible as we could have been in an effort to earn back the trust of the people of Vermilion Parish. I guess we not there yet but that won't stop me from continuing to push forward to promote the great things that all our employees do. Been beat up over this tax proposition, but would do it all over again to try and put our employees on a level closer to our neighboring parishes that we have outperfomed over the past 10 years," Byler wrote.

The superintendent said he is "frustrated and disappointed, but not defeated."

To see our story about what the system had hoped to do with the tax income, click here.