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May: From The Publisher

05/13/2014 08:13AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

By Art Suberbielle

Lafayette Airport Commission should be applauded for thinking outside of the box! The Commission, much like every other government entity, needs more funding. In this case, the Airport Commission hopes to build a larger passenger terminal to accommodate the growing demands at LFT, as well as additional parking and more aircraft ramp area. The proposed 1-cent Lafayette Parish sales tax is estimated to generate about $35 million.

This tax would provide only a portion of the funding for the project that is estimated to cost $90 million. The remainder of the necessary funds would be obtained by the commission self-financing some $30 million and obtaining state and federal grants for the balance.

Most of the proposals for new funding brought forth by various government entities have merit. And the majority of them turn to the public to approve some sort of tax to provide the monies needed for a particular project.  Generally, the request is presented as a ballot issue for a sales tax or property millage for a 10-year period. Assuming the proposed project has enough merit, the voters approve it. Before you can blink an eye, the ten year period expires. Then we the voters are besieged with a request to “renew this tax.” And advocates are quick to point out, “This is not a new tax. It’s only a renewal.” So the 10-year tax often becomes a 20-year tax. 

What’s so refreshing about the Lafayette Airport Commission’s plan is the stipulation written into the tax proposal language that states that this tax cannot be renewed or extended.  The commission is confident enough in their planning and cost estimates to put a specific price tag on the money needed. So when you vote for this proposal, you can be certain that it is only for 8 months. PERIOD. Hopefully, this concept will become the framework used by other entities who seek voter approval of a tax to finance their proposals. 

Verse of the Month

“Let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. 

 Be hospitable to one another without complaining.”                         1 Peter 4:8 - 9

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