Citizens Question Proposed TIF – Called “Idiots”

Things got hot in Lafayette, Louisiana, the other night. There was a town meeting at the local library to discuss the creation of a new TIF district to help build a luxury hotel. The developer is Glenn Stewart.

As reported in TheAdvertiser.com, “Parc Lafayette, a “lifestyle center” proposed at Kaliste Saloom Road and Camellia Boulevard across from River Ranch, will need a special taxing plan approved by the city-parish government for its full potential to be reached, Stewart said. At its Feb. 15 meeting, the council approved resolutions authorizing the publication of a Notice of Intention to create the special taxing districts. If Stewart gets the government assistance he’s seeking, the city-parish will levy an additional 1 percent sales tax at retail stores there and a 2 percent sales tax and a 2 percent hotel tax for people using the luxury hotel.”

That’s a lot of new tax for one hotel. One of the speakers who opposed the project said “the tax is discriminatory against people who decide to not shop or stay in the Parc Lafayette development because of the higher taxes when a development all are willing to use could be built there.”

Stewart called the speaker and other people there who opposed the projects, “Idiots.” The 30 attendees were insulted and threatened to walk out but stayed after City-Parish Councilman Keith Patin, District 8, apologized.

Most of the people opposing the project at the meeting were members of the local Tea Party. “I made a mistake,” Stewart said after the meeting concluded. “I should have called them all lunatics.”

Whose the real lunatic here? The private developer who wants the citizens of Lafayette to help pay for his luxury hotel or the poor citizens who protested?

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