Recently, the Lafayette City Council decided to levy five new taxes on the public at large. Normally, when this happens they’re required to submit their decision to the people for final approval. Over and over again, we heard Bruce Conque say that the council does not have the authority to levy taxes. They may only submit taxes to the voters for their approval.
Well, that’s before someone in the Robideaux administration paid Charles Landry $55,000 (that we know of) to devise a way to raise taxes without a vote of the people. The people’s sole power to levy taxes upon themselves is enumerated in Lafayette’s Home Rule Charter, Article II, Section 17-D. Vis: “All proposals to renew, levy a new or increase an existing sales and use tax shall be submitted to the voters for approval in accordance with the election laws of the state.”
Yes, you can fix this.
Further, the Home Rule Charter’s Article VI, Section 01-B(2) says that the people may repeal any ordinance passed by the council through a petition process. While the following form is not an official public petition, it is a means to gauge the public’s interest in one. The repeal by petition requirements are simple: “the signatures of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the total registered voters of the City of Lafayette” is sufficient to trigger the process.
According to Secretary of State data for February of 2020, there are exactly 81,188 registered voters in the City of Lafayette. The fifteen-percent (15%) requirement means that 12,179 registered voters have the combined power to overturn these taxes, or at least put them before the voters.
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