Parish councilman talks taxing options to save Lafayette recreation centers

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — One of the Lafayette Parish council members who supported Tuesday’s ordinance says a revamp of the existing recreation tax may be the solution.

“We want to live a champagne life on a Shafer budget,” Councilman Abraham Rubin said.

Rubin explains the property tax for parks and recreation is outdated.

The recreation tax was approved by voters back in 1961. The tax generates about $3 million a year.

“It is what it is,” said Rubin. “I hope that the public will see what we’re dealing with and realize that it cost to pay.”

Rubin says could be two options to explore.

He talked about converting the existing tax into a parish-wide property tax where everyone pays or increase the tax to generate more revenue.

“That means to add more taxes to the millage which I don’t think is the best idea,” he said. “I would like to see if we can get the other municipalities involved,” Rubin added.

Some say a solution should have been part of the equation early on. Plus, how much money is really being saved by closing the rec centers?

Former Lafayette Parks and Recreation Director, Senator Gerald Boudreaux in a statement:

“We have done more with less. This is what we do every year when it comes to budgeting. We see what’s available, we spread it out and we make the adjustments. We didn’t have a bunch of meetings nor any uproar from the community because we managed it. That’s what budgeting is all about. We made it work,” Boudreaux noted.

Sen. Gerald Boudreaux

“I don’t have any kids. I have nieces and nephews. They have children,” resident Marcia Dorsey stated. Dorsey says she’s willing to pay more in taxes to solve a problem she believes impacts the future.

“This debate is not for me but it’s for those coming up behind me.  I’m 65.  It’s for those who are coming up behind me who need those parks and recreation centers,” Dorsey said.

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