The Lafayette City-Parish Council met for the final time on Tuesday night. The agenda was full but the item with the biggest buzz was the six proposed taxing districts.

At the end of the night, the council approved five new taxing districts that will go into effect next year.

The six taxing districts up for final adoption, proposed by outgoing Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, include the following:

  • Downtown Lafayette Economic Development District
  • University Gateway Economic Development District
  • Trappey Economic Development District
  • Northway Economic Development District
  • Holy Rosary Institute Economic Development District
  • Acadiana Mall Economic Development District.

The only district that was not approved was the Acadiana Mall Economic Development District, which was deferred indefinitely.

The taxing districts are intended to help with economic development.

A two-percent sales tax and a two-percent hotel occupancy tax will be collected in the Trappey Economic Development District. This encompasses the old Trappey's building and starts in July.

The other four districts were approved for a one-percent sales tax and a two-percent hotel occupancy tax and those will also be collected starting July 1.

As you can imagine, the new taxing districts were not championed by everyone. Mayor-President-elect Josh Guillory opposed, stating: "I don't deny that the intent is good. I'm not saying what you want to achieve is bad; actually, I think it's great. All I'm saying is we have other options."

However, after hearing Guillory and others in opposition to the taxing districts, Councilman Kevin Naquin cited the success of economic development districts in Broussard, Carencro and Scott.

"I have a problem with people that are trying to stop the City of Lafayette from doing what everybody else is doing," said Naquin. "Shame on you."

This was the final meeting for the Lafayette City-Parish Council. Beginning Jan. 6, it will be replaced by separate city and parish councils.

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