Lafayette city council chair rejects Guillory’s proposed tax district repeal, says it will not be placed on March 3 agenda

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Lafayette City Council Chair Pat Lewis is rejecting Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s proposal to repeal five newly created tax districts.

On Friday evening, Lewis released a statement saying he will not be placing Guillory’s ordinances for introduction on the upcoming city council agenda.

“Because of existing litigation on this matter and the already signed Cooperative Endeavor Agreements with third parties, I have made the decision to hold off on placing these ordinances on the agenda,” Lewis said. “It is imperative that we ensure that the City is protected.”

Earlier this week, Guillory made public his proposal to repeal the council-approved tax districts, saying “further community discussion was needed.”

Guillory has maintained his opposition to the tax districts through his campaign.

In December, a group filed a lawsuit against the city of Lafayette claiming the tax districts violated state law. Timothy Supple, Jeremiah Supple Keith Kishbaugh, Carol Ross, Mark Tolson and Ross Little are plaintiffs named in the suit.

The Downtown Development Authority responded with its intention to intervene, claiming an “adverse ruling” in the lawsuit “will negatively impact the economic future of the downtown Lafayette area.”

On Tuesday, the Economic Development District Board of Directors held its first meeting to elect its officers for each tax district.

In his statement Friday, Lewis said he questions whether the Lafayette City Council should be involved in considering matters (such as the mayor-president’s proposed repeal) that are “now in the hands of the Economic Development District Board of Directors.”

Lewis said proposals to scrap the new tax districts need more vetting.

“In closing and as Chair, I wanted to share my decision that these five ordinances to abolish the EDDs (tax districts), will not be placed on the City Council agenda, until more time is allowed to vet these important matters,” Lewis said.

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