Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber is finally shedding some light on sales tax proposal that voters will likely see at the end of the year.
Sheriff Mark Garber told the Lafayette City-Parish Council that this new proposal would a 3/4 cent sales tax that would be paid parishwide.
“I believe that a sales tax that excludes food and drugs is more fair to support law enforcement services than it is to put it solely on the backs of property owners.” said Sheriff Garber.
He explained the reason LPSO needs this because they are $38 million dollars in debt, $17 million from the public safety complex and the rest coming from interest and unfunded liabilities.
Further adding that he is having to borrow to pay his deputies.
“I would like to address those fund balances so I don’t have to borrow to make payroll at the end of every year.” said Sheriff Garber.
The current sales tax that LPSO uses is a one cent sales tax that only applies to residents in the unincorporated areas of the parish.
If this were approved by the voters, it would eliminate the one cent sales tax, in favor of the 3/4 one.
The new tax is expected to generate $38 million dollars compared to the 4 million the current one raises.
“I’m prepared to reduce my property tax millages to give back to the property owners in the parish. I’m not just going to accumulate money from this tax.” said Sheriff Garber.
Of the $38 million raised, 13-14 million of that will go to the Lafayette Police Department
To clarify, funds going to LPD will only be generated from sales taxes collected within the city limits.
“It’s truly been a collaborative effort from the very beginning, but the police didn’t come to me and say help me. It was more of a we’re going to do this too.” said Sheriff Garber.
The sheriff says he plans to unveil the full tax proposal to the public in July and it would be voted on December 8th