Voters in Lafayette Parish will decide Oct. 22 on a proposed 20-year, $561 million general obligation bond issue to fund new schools and upgrade facilities.

Trustees of the Lafayette Parish School District voted unanimously last week to ask voters to approve a property tax increase of 25 mills to support the bonds and a separate 20-year tax hike for maintenance and repair efforts.

Proceeds would fund the first phase of the district’s facilities master plan that identified $1 billion of new needs and district-wide improvements. Initial work will focus on new schools to replace aging ones and replacement of portable classrooms with permanent structures.

The current property tax rate in the parish ranges from 84.36 mills to 85.89 mills depending upon location.

The district has no outstanding GO bonds. Its $8 million of debt supported by sales tax revenue is rated A1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

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