LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY)– The Lafayette Parish Council will hold a special meeting to decide new millage rates after learning the property tax veto eliminated the ordinance that sets the rate.
A portion of Tuesday’s parish council meeting got a little tense when the Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor informed Mayor-President Josh Guillory and the parish council it wasn’t just the property tax that was vetoed, it was the entire ordinance.
“You have eliminated the millages when you vetoed it,” Lafayette Tax Assessor Conrad Comeaux said. “Eliminated it. You’re not just vetoing the increase. You vetoed the entire ordinance.”
Standing before Guillory and the parish council, Comeaux shared how vetoing of the property tax not only affects the rate, but it affects the ordinance in place to set the rate.
Comeaux addressed Guillory directly, saying “What you said was not indeed a fact. What you did was cut 67 million from the revenues of the parish. every penny, every penny was vetoed. If you don’t override the veto, the parish gets zero.”
This came as a shock as Guillory and members of the council said they were unaware. When asked why they weren’t informed until just now, Comeaux said no one asked, therefore it was not mentioned until the meeting.
Guillory asked why wait after the veto to mention the ordinance being eliminated.
“You knew this veto occurred, three weeks ago, four weeks ago?, And you’re choosing to say this now?” Guillory asked.
“Not one of you bothered to ask,” Comeaux responded.
Guillory said once the veto was made known, he and the council should have been notified of this. After asking Comeaux if he felt any integrity in not sharing it until that moment, Guillory goes on to suggest a special meeting be held to come up with a new ordinance that will set a new millage rate.
“You can’t pick up the phone and call any of your colleagues or myself? I don’t think that’s in good faith, I will tell you this. If the tax assessor’s correct, then I would suggest to the council to call an emergency meeting and introduce a new ordinance setting the millages where they should be. That’s my recommendation,” Guillory said.
As the meeting continued, the council voted not to override the veto resulting in the elimination of the ordinance and the need for new rates to be set. A special meeting will be held Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. where the ordinance and millage rates will be discussed.
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