- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette City-Parish Council approved putting a temporary sales tax on the ballot later this year that, if passed by voters, would help fund a bigger, modern terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1gR17I5 ) eight of nine council members voted Tuesday to place the 1-cent sales tax on the ballot in either the November general election or in December. William Theriot cast the lone vote against the measure.

The tax would be levied for eight months, from April 1, 2015, until Nov. 30, 2015, and would raise around $35 million.

Lafayette Airport Commission Chairman Matt Cruse said the project’s total cost is an estimated $90 million.

He said the remaining money would come from bond sales by the airport and from state and federal grants.

“I can tell you the state and federal dollars are out there for those (municipal) airport projects,” Cruse said.

Cruse said the money generated from a tax could not legally be used for anything other than the terminal project, and cannot be collected for longer than the eight months.

Also, he said, the tax would not be levied on groceries and prescription drugs.

The issue that drew the most debate Tuesday was whether to place the proposition on the November or December ballot.

Councilman Andy Naquin said he would like to see the proposition on the ballot for the primary election in November, which historically draws more voters than the December election.

Cruse countered the Airport Commission, which will pay for a campaign to pass the tax, will have to spend more for political advertising in November than in December during the campaign to persuade voters to pass the tax.

A proposed amendment to the resolution Tuesday, which would have mandated putting the measure on the November ballot, failed 6-3. The City-Parish Council ended up approving the measure without specifying whether it would be on Nov. 4 or Dec. 6.

The terminal at the airport was built in 1965 and was last remodeled in 1989.

The new terminal would be 40 percent larger with the capacity to expand.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com



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