The gist: Two library expansions and a new Northside branch may be reconsidered if the library’s property tax is not increased to offset revenue lost from declining commercial property values in the parish. The Lafayette Parish Library System stands to lose almost $750,000 in annual revenue if the Parish Council approves of Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s plan to leave it out of the increases for other parish functions. This decline would increase the library system’s operating deficit next year to $1.8 million, putting it on track to zero out its fund balance in four years.
Lafayette’s city and parish councils passed a compromise budget that doesn’t address any of the city’s or parish’s major budgetary problems.
The Buchanan garage is a dilapidated property on prime real estate Downtown that’s been condemned because of government neglect. While it’d be great to get it back into commerce, the economics of Mayor-President Guillory’s plan don’t add up and they risk the financial health of the courthouse and the jail.
LCG’s budgetmaking process can be complicated in a normal year, and this is far from a normal year. Newly split councils, a mayor-president deadset on slashing budgets, and an uncertain economy has created a perfect storm for a tense budgetmaking process. As the councils round the corner on amending this budget, these are some of the top issues still to be resolved.
COLUMN: Cutting quality of life services will backfire, hurting Lafayette’s economy for years to come
In order to be economically competitive as a city, Lafayette needs to offer quality of life amenities. In the rush to cut budgets, Mayor-President Guillory is putting the city’s quality of life at risk, reducing its ability to retain and attract people, especially young families.
Council Preview 8/18: A report on the LUS report, go-cups (again), early voting in North Lafayette, splitting up city and parish parks
Here are the highlights for Tuesday night’s city, parish, and joint council meetings. To view the full agendas click here, select 8/18/2020 from the dropdown menu, and then click on the agenda or agenda item you want to dive into.
The gist: Total assessed property values in Lafayette Parish have fallen for the first time in decades, further compounding shortfalls in consolidated government’s upcoming budget. Linking the declines to economic fallout from the pandemic, Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor Conrad Comeaux said Thursday at a budget hearing the decline in property values could reduce LCG’s revenues by millions. That drop will force the City and Parish councils to either raise millage rates or cut their budgets further.
Parish government has been on life support for years now. With the city’s finances now strained, it’s time for the parish to get serious about living within its means.
At a time of incredible economic and financial uncertainty, the parish council can’t afford to rededicate CREATE’s millage to any other dedicated fund. Instead what’s needed is flexibility to navigate an uncertain future, which is why this millage should be redirected to the parish general fund.
Lafayette’s roads suck and both our city and parish budgets are in disarray. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do something about this problem. We just need to reprioritize maintaining the infrastructure we already have.
Council Preview: paying for pay raises, Girard Park rezoning, Coca-Cola redevelopment, and daiquiris delivered
Tuesday is the City-Parish Council members’ second-to-last meeting ever, and they’re not phoning it in. Here’s what on the agenda for Dec. 3.
Spending millions of city dollars to build a road through a cane field isn’t a new idea. We can’t afford to keep making the same mistakes.