Dec 17, 2009 5:25 PM by Associated Press

Cajundome Sales Tax Case Nears End

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A lawsuit between the Cajundome and Lafayette Parish School Board over sales taxes may soon be resolved.

Lafayette Consolidated Government sent a letter Wednesday to the school board saying it is satisfied with the terms of an agreement.

"We were happy to receive the letter. We're happy the case is now over," said Robert Rainer, a Baton Rouge attorney representing the school system.

Both the Cajundome and school board approved a settlement agreement in recent weeks. But the School Board tacked on a caveat that its approval is contingent upon concurrence by Lafayette
Consolidated Government.

The school board's sales-tax division collects sales taxes for the school system and LCG. While LCG was not a party to the lawsuit, the School Board wanted its approval of the agreement because LCG and the school system will be forfeiting more than $1 million in back taxes the Cajundome did not collect and remit before June 2007.

The proposed settlement excuses the Cajundome from paying the back taxes it owed to LCG, the school system and the state. In exchange, the school system will receive a $333,774 credit to use
the Cajundome for free for high school graduations and other functions.

LCG agreed to the settlement because an intergovernmental agreement with Cajundome owner UL obligates LCG to pay $500,000 a year in operating costs for the Cajundome. Therefore, the Cajundome Commission may have had to call upon LCG to help pay the back taxes.

Rainer said he plans to meet with the Cajundome's attorneys early next week, present the consent judgment to 15th Judicial District Judge Glennon Everett and have the parties sign the agreement ending the lawsuit.

The Cajundome Commission filed the lawsuit after the school sales-tax director realized the Cajundome was not collecting and remitting sales taxes on items like tickets and T-shirts. The
Cajundome had not collected sales taxes dating back to Jan. 1, 2004.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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