Here’s what you’re voting on May 4, Lafayette

Photo courtesy Teche Vermilion Water District

The gist: There are two tax renewals on the May 4 ballot — one that supports pumping fresh water into the Vermilion River and the other pays one-third of the sheriff’s budget. May the fourth be with you.

Please, for the love of the force, go vote.

Both taxes are renewals, NOT increases. Below is the gist of what they fund. You can find out how much taxes will cost you using The Current’s Civi Millage Calculators embedded below. You’ll need to know the market value of your property, which you can find here.

Visit the Secretary of State’s website to see your ballot and find out where to vote. A sample of the ballot you’ll see in the booth is available there, too. Follow this link.

Teche Vermilion Fresh Water District renewal

Mill rate:
$5.6 million annually

This is an obscure but important agency that serves the parishes in the Teche-Vermilion watershed. The district operates pumps that move fresh water from the Atchafalaya River into otherwise stagnant waterways like the Vermilion River. Flood controls built after the catastrophic floods of 1927 blocked the natural flow of the Vermilion. Without the pumped water the Vermilion River gets polluted. The district was established in 1983. In the 1970s, the Vermilion River was one of the most polluted rivers in the nation.

It will appear on the ballot as “PW Teche-Vermilion Fresh Water Dist. – 1.5 Mills Renewal – BOC – 10 Yrs“.
-$75,000 from property value. Applies to your primary residence.

Your Annual Cost:
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LPSO Law Enforcement District renewal

Mill rate:
$20 million annually

This tax funds about one-third of LPSO’s annual budget. It goes to salaries, equipment, officer training and operations. The sheriff is also supported by a 1-cent sales tax that generates roughly $4 million each year. Operations and maintenance of the parish jail are funded by other dedicated property taxes.

It will appear on the ballot as “PW Law Enforcement Dist. – 8.76 Mills Renewal – Sheriff – 10 Yrs“.
-$75,000 from property value. Applies to your primary residence.

Your Annual Cost:
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About the Author

Christiaan Mader founded The Current in 2018, reviving the brand from a short-lived culture magazine he created for Lafayette publisher INDMedia. An award-winning investigative and culture journalist, Christiaan’s work as a writer and reporter has appeared in The New York Times, Vice, Offbeat, Gambit, and The Advocate.


  1. like the calculator. that puts into real terms for voters.

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    1. Christiaan Mader May 4, 2019 at 9:24 am

      Thanks! We felt like the way the media tends to talk about property tax is too theoretical. The math is just too easy to not solve that problem for voters.

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