- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - Several Lafourche Parish councilmen are opposed to a proposal to increase sales tax to build a new jail.

The Daily Comet reports (http://bit.ly/1llOEmB ) Lafourche Parish voters will decide May 3 whether to levy a 0.2 percent sales tax to build and operate a new 600-bed, $30 million jail.

Sheriff Craig Webre said he filed the measure Tuesday with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

Councilman Daniel Lorraine has said he was going to propose a 1.5-mill, 20-year tax for a new jail but has since tabled that plan. Lorraine has been adamant in his stance that he wouldn’t support a sales tax increase because the southern part of the parish, which he represents, already has a high sales tax.

Other council members, including Jerry Lafont, Phillip Gouaux and Lindel Toups, have also stated their opposition to the proposal.

“I’m for the jail, but I’m against the sales tax,” said Toups, who chaired the parish’s jail committee in 2009.

Lafont said the only tax he’s considering supporting right now would be a 0.5 percent sales tax for the North Lafourche Levee District.

“They’re going to need a sales tax,” Lafont said. “I think protecting these people from flood waters is more important than protecting them from these criminals.”

The parish needs to consolidate its millages before it looks at adding any more burden to the taxpayers, Gouaux said.

“I think if we looked at and consolidated some of these millages, you’ll find we have room to impose a mill or tax the people to build a jail,” he said.

Councilmen John Arnold, Joe Fertitta and Jerry Jones are the only council members who support the proposal.

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Information from: Daily Comet, http://www.dailycomet.com