Lafayette Sheriff; there's more to what's written in sales tax proposal than meets the eye

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) - LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) - Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber, says there's more to what's written in his parish-wide sales tax proposal than meets the eye.

Garber presented the proposal to the Lafayette Consolidated Council in June. 

It guaranteed the Lafayette Police Department half of the $38,000,000 a year, the proposed 3/4 cent sales tax would generate.

He has since reduced the request to a 1/2 cent sales tax to give taxpayers a break and still get the money both departments need.

Garber says controversy surfaced from the language of the proposition he submitted to the state bond commission this week to meet a deadline. In it, there's no mention of sharing the sales tax with the Lafayette Police Department.

He says that's because he's waiting for the Lafayette City Police Chief Toby Agulliard to say what his department needs.

Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer, Lt. John Mowell says, "We do know the Chief is requesting additional manpower of 40 officers at $80,000 each per year."

The Sheriff says he plans to meet with LCG next week to enter into an intergovernmental agreement on how to divide the tax revenue.

Sheriff Mark Garber said, "As far as the Lafayette Police Department goes, I'm in discussion with the city-parish president as to whether or not they will receive part of that or not, it'll be largely up to them in our discussion."

Chief Aguillard has criticized the Sheriff's handling of the tax proposal saying quote, "Garber started negotiating through the Police Association, which is the police union, not with him, the administration or council".

City-Parish President Joel Robideaux says quote, "I'm grateful to our police officers for the sacrifices they commit to every day and I'm thankful to the council for the additional officers they have funded thus far. I look forward to continuing conversations with the Sheriff to address the law enforcement needs of our parish."

The parish-wide 1/2 cent sales tax is expected to generate $25 million in revenue yearly.

If voters approve, it will replace the existing one-cent sales tax. 

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