City Council meeting short, “value added” fee discussed


There was only one item on the agenda for Monday night’s City Council meeting on Jan. 28. It was to execute a change order to the contract between the City and Regional Construction LLC for the 2017-208 Street Rehabilitation Program, Phase 2.

Before the meeting was adjourned Council member Eddie Harrington asked for an update regarding a resolution from a November meeting requesting the Natchitoches Tax Collector Jerry McWherter provide a written explanation on taxes owed by Chateau St. Denis:

Why sales occupation on a TIF tax were not collected on a period of November 18, 2016 through June 31, 2018.
If taxes are determined to be owed to provide a plan for payment of the amount due or negotiate a settlement of the amount due.

The Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission made a public records request for certain information from the Natchitoches Tax Commission on Jan. 4.

The attorney for the Tax Commission stated in a response to the Tourist Commission that when McWherter was first made aware of the hotel’s “value added” package fee he contacted other jurisdictions like New Orleans. Through his research he determined whether or not the fee was taxable or not. His conclusion at the time was that the fee was not subject to sales and use tax.

He later, based on added information including an opinion from the Attorney General’s Office, changed his mind and in June of 2018 he advised the hotel that the fee was taxable and they should start collecting taxes. The attorney also advised McWherter that to try and reclaim any of the back taxes wouldn’t be prudent considering he originally told the hotel they didn’t have to collect taxes on their “value added” fee.

The next City Council meeting will be Monday, Feb. 11.

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