Council Preview: Special taxes, LCG pension changes, green infrastructure

Illustration by Peter DeHart

The gist: Both the city and parish council agendas are light this week. That makes plenty of room for what should be a lively slate for the five economic development districts created earlier this year.  The city council members will vote to levy sales and hotel occupancy taxes in their boundaries.

Economic Development Districts 

Special taxes for special districts: Five special taxing districts, called economic development districts, were created earlier this year to raise revenue for economic development within their boundaries. On Tuesday, the district governing authorities — the members of the city council — will hold a public hearing and vote to levy sales and hotel occupancy taxes. A lawsuit has challenged the districts on procedural grounds. Here are the districts and their proposed taxes: 

  • Downtown Lafayette Economic Development District – 1% sales, 2% hotel occupancy
  • University Gateway Economic Development District – 1% sales, 2% hotel occupancy
  • Trappey Economic Development District  – 2% sales, 2% hotel occupancy
  • Northway Economic Development District – 1% sales, 2% hotel occupancy
  • Holy Rosary Institute Economic Development District – 1% sales, 2% hotel occupancy

Something to keep in mind: These are meetings of the district governing authorities, not the city council. The council members make up the district authorities as individuals, not as a council. Those governing authorities alone determine what’s done with the money. 

Joint Council  

Green infrastructure grant application. The Planning Department is seeking approval to apply for a grant to contract help in developing guidelines for green infrastructure. Green infrastructure broadly refers to natural systems or designs for managing stormwater and addressing flood risks. Think bioswales and natural drainage channels. This is a resolution. 

Changes to public employee retirement benefit. Billed as another cost-saving measure that could cut “hundreds of thousands of dollars” — according to an internal memo — from future budgets, the administration wants to swap out state retirement plans for municipal employees, excluding police, fire and city court. The proposal would require future employees to enter the state’s parochial employee retirement system instead of the municipal employee retirement system. This item is up for introduction.

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.

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