Lafayette City Council considers levying special taxes in five districts, including downtown

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Downtown Lafayette is one of five economic development taxing districts being voted on tonight.   A taxing district is basically an area where a special tax is levied for a particular reason.

In this case, the vote is for an additional one percent sales tax and a two percent tax hotel occupancy tax.

According to the resolution, that’s one percent more at the register for retail, for consumption, for leasing and rental, and at least in one of the proposed district storage.

The plan is to invest the money where it was collected.  Projects can include renovated sidewalks, parking facilities and landscaping.  A number of people say if that’s the case then they’ll pay.

“I would agree with doing it jut because its helping to develop our area and is making it more attractable to people outside of Lafayette,” consumer Julia Catic said.

There’s also the mention of using the money for economic development ventures that could bring permanent jobs to the areas levying the tax.  One plan talks about a hotel with operational and management opportunities.

“If they up the taxes and it would go into development, then I would be open for it,” consumer Eric Landry stated.

The taxing districts will also come with a two percent tax on hotel occupancy. 

“Yes I would.  It would help everyone and it would beautify the city?  I don’t see a reason for why not,” Janet Dugas added.

Not everyone is a fan of the tax districts.

“Does it make sense?  What are they trying to accomplish?  Is there another way to do this other than raising taxes,” Citizens for a New Louisiana Michael Lunsford questioned

Lunsford says what’s the rush.  He believes the taxing districts have no clear plan.

“Why are we making decisions without knowing all the facts.  Why are we in a hurry.   We had the same challenge with LUS Fiber and now we know it’s $200 million dollars in debt,” Lunsford stated.

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