Jul 25, 2013 6:35 PM
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel says that he has finally come to understand the way Lafayette's consolidated government works, and he has crafted a budget he feels fixes some inequities of past years.
In his proposed 2014 budget document, being released now to the Lafayette City-Parish Council, Durel proposes taking some $6 million from the Lafayette Parish Roads and Bridges tax and the Drainage tax to apply towards the parish's portion of the city/parish "split" in operating costs accrued over the years.
Durel said the money would not come from existing projects, but from future projects in the parish that would not be funded.
"It took a 'perfect storm' of information to bring this to the forefront,'" Durel wrote in his budget letter to the LCG Council.
Durel's letter also details some cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of the LCG Traffic and Transportation Department and the LCG Administrative Services Department.
The budget proposal also includes a request to halt collection of the 1-mill Mosquito Abatement and Control tax and the .94-mill Parish Health Unit tax. Durel is proposing that those two millages be combined and presented to the voters as a 1.94-mill Public Health tax that could be applied more liberally to needs across the parish.
Also, for the first time in more than two years, Durel is proposing LCG employees receive a 2.5 percent general pay increase.
The proposed LCG budget covers a total of $598 million, $367 million of which is in the operations funds. The Lafayette city general fund under the budget proposal is at $92.5 million.
The total city sales and property tax revenue is budgeted at $103 million. The unincorporated parish sales taxes are projected at $6 million, and the parishwide property tax revenue is pegged at $46.8 million.