Please take a look at a bill that is to be introduced in the Louisiana Legislature today, authored by State Rep. and House Speaker Pro-Temp Joel Robideaux (I-Lafayette).
This bill would established an “economic development” district in and around UL-Lafayette. The supposed purpose of this district would be to promote the university and economic development in the area.
However, this legislation would establish a board of directors for the district, and the board will have the power to levy new taxes. Sales taxes, or TIFs, is one of the taxes this board is allowed to levy, but the major, regressive problem with this bill is it also gives the board the power to levy additional property taxes.
These taxes cannot be raised without a final vote of “qualified electors”, however, as we know with property taxes, those who are exempt from paying those taxes generally go to the polls and vote to increase the burden on those whose property is over the state homestead.
These taxes CAN be raised without an election if there are no “qualified electors” living in the proposed area of the increase. Therefore, this means that businesses already located in this proposed district would be subject to having their property taxes increased simply by the whim of the board HB 566 would create.
Local businesses already located in this newly proposed “economic development district” should not be subject to property and sales tax increases at the direction of a “board”!