1. Will this tax generate enough revenue to fix the problem? The proposed ½ cent sales tax which is dedicated will, with voter approval, be collected for 10 years. The funds generated by the tax are expected to replace approximately 60% of the temporary classrooms currently in service.
2. Why not replace them all? Funds generated by the ½ cent sales tax will not be enough to replace all 420 temporary classrooms. The proposed tax will provide sufficient funds to replace 248 temporary classrooms. The Lafayette Parish School Board feels that voters are more comfortable voting for a tax where they can see some success. The board wants to demonstrate to voters a) funds will be dedicated and spent on what LPSS says they will be spent on and b) how this strategy improves the parish school system.
3. Why a sales tax rather than a property tax? While a property tax would provide more funds than a sales tax, Lafayette Parish School Board members believe a ½ cent sales tax will have less impact on parish citizens at this important time in the local economy.
4. I am a senior citizen and have no children enrolled in public schools. My daughter and son-inlaw send their children to private school. How does this tax help me? Cities that have a better-educated population also have less crime, fewer drug problems, thriving arts and cultural communities and better economies. Lafayette Parish has great public schools. What this sales tax does is allow students to learn in an environment that does not always depend on good weather. Prospective businesses considering a relocation often look at the quality of the public school system to ensure their employees have opportunities for their children to receive the best education possible. Lafayette Parish’s continued reliance on temporary classrooms simply makes that argument harder. Ultimately, the decision to vote “yes” or “no” is up to each individual.
5. Is this a “forever” tax? No. This is a 10-year dedicated tax for infrastructure and maintenance.
6. What happens in 10 years? If it passes and voters are satisfied with the results of the 10-year 1/2 cent sales tax, school board members may choose to propose another tax that addresses eliminating temporary classrooms still on elementary, middle and high school campuses at that time.
7. Will all schools benefit from this tax, if it passes? Yes, but not immediately. New construction will free up maintenance funds that can address needs of those schools not scheduled for new construction from this tax. And some schools not included in this tax are already having some of their construction needs met through current funds.