2021 Lafayette Parish Ballot Proposition Guide

Election Guide 2021

Ballot Propositions

Find out more about the ballot propositions on Lafayette Parish’s Nov. 13, 2021 ballot.

Parishwide

Proposition #1 – Airport tax renewal

The gist: This 1.71-mill property tax generates about $3.8 million annually to run the Lafayette Regional Airport. About 30% of the airport’s annual revenue comes from this tax. If approved, it would renew for another 10 years. 

Vote Yes:  It’s generally a good idea to fund Lafayette Airport. Planes ought to fly out of the new terminal we paid to build.

Vote No: Airline companies already get enough public subsidy and the service is still terrible.

What the ballot says: Shall the Parish of Lafayette, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), continue to levy and collect a special tax of one and seventy-one hundredths (1.71) mills on all property subject to taxation in the Parish, for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2023 and ending with the year 2032 (an estimated $3,765,500 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for the purpose of improving, maintaining and operating the Lafayette Regional Airport?

Airport tax renewal

Mill rate:
1.71
-$75,000 from property value. Applies to your primary residence.

Your Annual Cost:
 
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Proposition #2 – Drainage tax renewal

The gist: This 3.58-mill tax generates about $7.9 million to pay for drainage maintenance and improvements. The renewal will bump the maximum tax rate by .24 mills to adjust for lower property values.

Wait, is this a tax increase!? Sort of. Property values declined in Lafayette Parish. By law, the Parish Council can adjust the tax rate to keep tax revenues the same. Parish Council members elected to keep the higher tax rate. 

Lafayette has two “drainage” millages. This tax pays into the drainage maintenance fund. In 2018, voters elected to rededicate 1.1 mills from the public health millage (which is also up for renewal on this ballot, btw) to establish a stormwater management tax, which generates about $2.5 million each year. 

Vote Yes: Drainage improvement is a top priority in Lafayette, and we desperately need to shore up how we manage stormwater.
 
Vote No: Drainage isn’t a priority for everyone, and we have other ways of paying for it like federal grants or impact fees on development.

What the ballot says: Shall the Parish of Lafayette, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), continue to levy and collect a special tax of three and fifty-eight hundredths (3.58) mills on all property subject to taxation in the Parish, for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2023 and ending with the year 2032 (an estimated $7,883,300 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for the purpose of maintaining, operating and improving drainage works within and for the Parish, said millage to represent a twenty-four hundredths of a mill (.24) increase (due to reappraisal) over the 3.34 mills tax authorized to be levied through the year 2022 pursuant to an election held on November 6, 2012?

Drainage tax renewal

Mill rate:
3.58
-$75,000 from property value. Applies to your primary residence.

Your Annual Cost:
 
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Proposition #3 – Parish Library tax renewal

The gist: This proposition would renew a 1.84-mill property tax that supports the general operations of the Lafayette Parish Library System. It’s one of two taxes that support Lafayette’s libraries and its nine branches. It generates $4 million each year. 

This tax accounts for 40% of the library’s revenue. The library system now runs on $10.5 million each year, with a small operating deficit. The library system was funded by three property taxes until voters cut one in 2018. 

Vote Yes: Literacy is a vital part of democracy, and libraries are much more than book collections. They’re community centers that provide everyone access to information. 

Vote No: Libraries are fine, but we don’t need to spend so much money on a service made redundant by an internet connection.

What the ballot says: Shall the Parish of Lafayette, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), continue to levy and collect a one and eighty-four hundredths (1.84) mills tax on all property subject to taxation within the Parish for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2023 and ending with the year 2032 (an estimated $4,051,700 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for the purpose of constructing, improving, maintaining and operating public libraries in the Parish, including the acquisition of equipment, books, materials and supplies?

Library tax renewal

Mill rate:
1.84
-$75,000 from property value. Applies to your primary residence.

Your Annual Cost:
 
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Proposition #4 – Rededicate public health funds to parish fire protection

The gist: This proposition takes a portion of a combined public health property tax and redirects it to generate $500,000 annually for fire protection in unincorporated Lafayette. It also allows the parish council to fund the coroner’s office with revenues from the public health tax. 

.23 mills would pay for trucks, equipment and operations for volunteer fire departments in unincorporated Lafayette. The remaining 1.98 mills would continue funding Lafayette’s public health office, mosquito control and operations of the new animal shelter. 

$550,000 was rededicated for fire protection in 2020. Voters approved repurposing all .25 mills of the parishwide CREATE tax to pay for fire department services in the unincorporated area. Unincorporated residents voted against taxing themselves to pay for fire protection in 2018. 

Vote Yes: Unincorporated fire protection is a parishwide responsibility. Funding rural fire departments would reduce the burden on municipal departments, which are no longer reimbursed for responding to emergencies beyond their jurisdictions. 

Vote No: This money is better spent on the services it already funds: public health (there’s a pandemic!), mosquito abatement and the new animal shelter, which taxpayers spent $8.9 million to build. 

What the ballot says: Shall the Parish of Lafayette, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), be authorized to rededicate the proceeds heretofore or hereafter received by the Parish from the levy and collection of a 2.21 mills tax (the “Tax”) on all the property subject to taxation in the Parish (an estimated $4,860,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), said Tax authorized to be levied through 2025 pursuant to Proposition No. 3 at an election held on November 18, 2017, for the following purposes: (i) 1.98 mills for the purpose of constructing, improving, maintaining, operating and supporting public health units, mosquito and other arthropod abatement and control facilities and programs and animal control facilities and programs, acquiring furnishings and equipment therefor, and paying mandated expenses of the coroner; and (ii) .23 mills for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, maintaining and operating fire protection facilities, vehicles and equipment, including both movable and immovable property, that are to be used to provide fire protection in the Parish?

Public health rededication

Mill rate:
.23
-$75,000 from property value. Applies to your primary residence.

Your Annual Cost:
 
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City of Lafayette

Proposition #1 – Police tax renewal

The gist: This proposition renews the 3-mill tax collected in the city of Lafayette to pay for police payroll. The police salary tax generates around $4.6 million each year. 

Lafayette Police Department costs about $46 million each year. Most of that is paid for by sales tax collections in the city’s general fund. LPD also shares a $5 million property tax with the fire department. 

Vote Yes: Public safety is a core function of government, and we need a steady revenue stream to staff our police department. 

Vote No: Public safety is important, but this millage barely covers annual payroll for the police department, so what’s the point? 

What the ballot says: Shall the City of Lafayette, State of Louisiana (the “City”), continue to levy and collect a special tax of three (3) mills on all property subject to taxation in the City, for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2023 and ending with the year 2032 (an estimated $4,627,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for the purpose of paying the costs of providing police salaries and salary related benefits in the City?

Police tax renewal

Mill rate:
3
-$75,000 from property value. Applies to your primary residence.

Your Annual Cost:
 
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Proposition #2 – Fire tax renewal 

The gist: This proposition renews a 2-mll tax collected in the city of Lafayette to pay for fire department payroll. The fire salary tax generates $3 million a year. 

Lafayette Fire Department costs about $38 million each year. Most of that is paid for by sales collections in the city’s general fund. LFD also shares a $5 million property tax with the police department. 

Vote Yes: Public safety is a core function of government, and we need a steady revenue stream to staff our fire department. 

Vote No: Public safety is important, but this millage barely covers annual payroll for the fire department, so what’s the point?

What the ballot says: Shall the City of Lafayette, State of Louisiana (the “City”), continue to levy and collect a special tax of two (2) mills on all property subject to taxation in the City, for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2023 and ending with the year 2032 (an estimated $3,085,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for the purpose of paying the costs of providing fire salaries and salary related benefits in the City? 

Fire tax renewal

Mill rate:
2
-$75,000 from property value. Applies to your primary residence.

Your Annual Cost:
 
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