Dear Natchitoches Taxpayer:

Dear Taxpayer - Sharplin
Last night[Oct. 15], I spoke in opposition to an appointment to the Natchitoches CVB Tourism Board at the Natchitoches Parish Government meeting. As you may or may not know, the Natchitoches CVB Board is responsible for appropriating approximately $500,000 of collected tax money to promote Natchitoches Parish Tourism. The general manager of the Chateau St. Denis Hotel was recommended for one of the open positions on that board. Fortunately for Natchitoches Parish Taxpayers, the Parish Council did not agree and tabled the vote.

I made the Parish Council aware of the upcoming opinion from Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office regarding unpaid and resort fee taxes arrearages from the Chateau St Denis Hotel. The Natchitoches CVB Board requested this opinion after Mr. Jerry McWherter of the Natchitoches Tax commission said he would do nothing in collecting those back-taxes, giving no reason other than he wants to move on.

Last night [Oct. 15] I spoke on these two valid points as opposition on placing the Chateau St Denis Hotel GM to the Natchitoches CVB Board

Ownership of Chateau St. Denis and/or any of its employees should not be allowed to make any decision regarding the tax collections in regards to the Natchitoches CVB’s money when there is an upcoming opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, requested by the Natchitoches Parish CVB Board, to investigate potential money owed by Chateau St Denis Hotel.

Chateau St. Denis Hotel continues to avoid (according to attached hotel folios) collection of the tax on the mandatory resort fee, failing to collect it from its guests.

As brought to the attention in earlier correspondence, Chateau St Denis Hotel, as well as Jerry McWherter (Natchitoches Parish Tax Commissioner), claimed to now be collecting and paying taxes on the mandatory resort fee, as of July 1, 2018. According to my math, this appears to be untrue. I have receipts from a guest stay at the hotel on two separate occasions, in July and last week. Both times, according to Hotel receipts, the CSD was not collecting 50 cents at the detriment to the Natchitoches CVB and City of Natchitoches TIF tax rolls. The total hotel sales tax rate in Natchitoches is 14.95%. That is not what is being collected according to those guest receipts.

I stated to the Natchitoches Parish Government Board members as well as Parish President to be on notice and to understand they may be aiding to this tax evasion by allowing C.S.D Manager to this board. This whole situation feels like the adage, “the fox guarding the hen-house.” It is a blatant conflict of interest.

In conclusion this is not a pot shot at the CSD Manger or the hard working employees at Chateau St Denis. Some have worked for our company and I consider them friends. These people are just doing their jobs and are good folks. My issue is with upper management at Chateau St Denis taking advantage of our community and showing ZERO RESPECT to the tax paying populace. The days of turning a blind eye are over. We are watching. Please do the right thing!

You can watch the meeting replay here:

I have attached Guest receipts showing shortages of tax collections from the Chateau St Denis Hotel.

Sincerely,

Jay Sharplin
Sharpco Hotels Group
Natchitoches, LA


The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

St. Denis October 2018 (1)St. Denis July 2018


16 thoughts on “Dear Natchitoches Taxpayer:

  1. basically the city is 3 monkeys..hear no evil,see no evil and speak no evil.
    so with monkeys you know have a circus .

  2. First, what is a “value added tax?” Just another way to take money?
    Second, the city should have never built/operated a hotel, which we now see is being subsidized by tax dollars, allowing them to undercut legit hotels in our area.
    Mr. McWherter has no trouble shaking down the mom & pop vendors during Christmas festival yet he lets this huge revenue go?
    And people wonder why we can’t attract businesses.
    Questions to ponder As the Cane Turns.

  3. Anybody else wondering what other deals have been made under the table? Public officials are like cheating husbands: If they’ve done it once, they’ll do it again. Should we ask the Louisiana Attorney General to investigate all of our parish’s councils and commissions, etc.?

  4. Aw, there just being good ole boys. Come on now. It’s only a slight advantage taken against all the other honest hotel operators in town. You know how things are done here in our loving, little town. We’ve always had favorites. Haven’t we? Ok, ok. I give up. I guess we can start being fair to everyone. If we have to. Signed by: Ex-Good Ole Boy.

  5. Did someone make an under the table deal with the new hotel? I detest having people working for the city, and not doing their job. Why do they do this? Is it time to get rid of people that don’t really work for the city or parish. We, the tax payers pay their salary, and if they don’t do the job they are supposed to do, in this case not going after the past due taxes owed, then we need to get someone in there that will do what it takes to collect all taxes due. Obviously, someone was going to let this non-payment go, and not worry about trying to collect past due taxes. Was a favor involved here, and I think most of you know what I mean. What ever the reason, our tax collector did not do his job, and seemed hesitant to go after those back taxes the hotel owed. I think there needs to be an audit to see if there were more people or businesses he let slide. This is so wrong, and I’m sick to death of the people in charge of collecting our tax dollars, and those spending our tax dollars not being completely honest in doing their job. Audit them, and if there are irregularities, kick their butts out.

  6. Great work Jay!! What is the dollar amount in back taxes? Now add interest on those back taxes, as a penalty. $$$ I want to know what additional business this hotel has brought to the downtown area. We are seeing the same groups as previous years.

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