Will anybody be celebrating the “sweet sixteen” birthday of the “Lafayette I-10 Corridor District at Mile Marker 103?” July 4, 2022 will mark sixteen years since the Lafayette City-Parish Council unanimously (Ordinance O-129-2006) breathed life into this “economic development district.” The purpose of the district? To take money from you and doll it out to whomever the local government wanted.
Call me TIF
Lafayette I-10 Corridor District at Mile Marker 103 or “TIF” as she prefers to be called by her friends, has been a very generous child. Before she had reached the age of eleven, TIF, with the unanimous parental consent of the Lafayette City-Parish Council (Ordinance O-026-2017) agreed to gift $4,239,041.12 to Racetrac Petroleum, Inc. (also sometimes referred to as Gingercrest) for private infrastructure improvements. Essentially, Racetrac was able to build a brand-new gas station at mile marker 103 for free. TIF, again with the unanimous consent of the Lafayette City-Parish Council, gifted an additional $1,422,122.22 for public infrastructure improvements. Not only did TIF want Ractetrac to have a brand-new facility paid for by taxpayers. She also wanted to ensure they enjoyed superior roadways, sidewalks and drainage.
According to readily available data, LCG has been paying Gingercrest, Inc. $70,000 every month or $700,000.00 during the 2019-2020 fiscal year; $770,000.00 during the 2020-2021 fiscal year and $420,000.00 so far for the 2021-2022 fiscal year for operating a gas station.
LCG is picking winners and losers
In a free market economy, supply and demand dictates when and where a good or service is necessary. But we no longer have anything that remotely resembles a free market economy. Government today can steal from the taxpayer and provide that money to a private individual for their own benefit. LCG has essentially elevated Racetrac above every locally owned gas station. Government has covered the entire cost to build a brand new building that benefits a private business.
We should all take notice that the trend we see here didn’t start and end with TIF. In 2019 many of us were told that we aren’t “essential” enough to make a living. Feeding our families and paying our bills became a criminal act. Aside from the healthcare industry, it was only the big box stores and national chains that profited the most. Government picked them to be the winner while sending “mom and pop” business owners home.
If we’re not watching them, who will?
Citizens for a New Louisiana is the only organization in Louisiana dedicated to reforming local government. With the help of numerous volunteers we are making some progress. However, there’s much more work we could be doing. Making a difference will take a little more than reading an article every now and then. Your community doesn’t need another spectator. They need someone willing to step onto the field and become a real part of the solution. Will you join us?
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