LCAT was right again! The council “discovered” tonight that the Lafayette Public Library has NOT been using it’s fund balance to build or remodel their facilities. The construction bonds were being paid back as property tax millages were being collected. We brought this up last year during the library tax debate and the library flatly denied it.
What’s new tonight is the library has effectively been building facilities using money from a FOURTH “ghost millage” property tax that “nobody knew about.” It’s crystal clear that the library has taxed parish residents and that money has been stacking up, unused, in their account. Another shocking revelation is the money being spent on library construction may have been diverted from road and bridge maintenance!
Even though council members are quick to say “let the voters decide” when it comes to passing new taxes, they aren’t very keen to allow voters to decide on this issue. Jay Castille motioned to defer, which was quickly seconded by Bruce Conque. After some discussion, the motion to defer was approved by the usual suspects, 7-2. That move effectively shielded the library’s entire $42.3 million surplus for now.
If council members keep their promise and bring up the rededication again in the future, the earliest voters would get a stab at the issue would be during the October 12th election. Considering that’s the election in which the Governor and nearly every other state-wide and parish elected official will be sharing, the library issue would be buried at the bottom of a very long ballot.
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