Dec 18, 2012 11:30 PM by Maddie Garrett
A sales tax increase was brought up at Tuesday night's Lafayette City-Parish council meeting as a way to offset budget woes. There was talk of proposing a one-cent increase in sales tax as soon as next year.
Councilman Brandon Shelvin opened up the discussion, saying in light of recent budget shortfalls, he believes it's time to start thinking about ways to increase revenues for local government and provide services.
"We're going to have to find ways to have the necessary resources to be able to continue to take care of our citizens," Shelvin said at the meeting.
The discussion was just the beginning, nothing on the books just yet. First the council would have to propose an ordinance, and then voters would have to approve it. There are still many things to hash out, such as how the revenues would be used: For example, portions dedicated to fire and police, safety, infrastructure projects or the general fund. The council would also have to decide whether to propose the sales tax increase city-wide or parish-wide.
Some tax-payers said they would vote against a one-cent tax increase, like father of two, Richard Walker, II.
"I feel like a gallon of milk is too expensive, it's more than a gallon of gas, so increasing taxes on groceries and things like that, I mean families that's unfortunate they would be paying a whole lot more in taxes and they can't afford it anyway," said Walker.
Others said it would be worth it to pay a little extra at the register.
"I would support the sales tax just because I believe there are many different ways we need to work out the budget," said Rebecca Wharton.
"I think this is a fair tax," Dale Brasseaux told the council.
Brasseaux said he voted against recent millages proposed by LCG. But he could get behind this sales tax, especially if it was parish-wide.
"I would like to see a sales tax across the parish, but that's me, because I think everybody should be included. And I think it should be put in the pool to pay for the services that we do expect," said Brasseaux.
To put things in perspective, the city of Lafayette currently pays 8% in sales tax. Here's a comparison to other cities in Acadiana: