City Council tables sales tax, regroups and gathers more information

Members of the community attended the City Council meeting Monday night, July 8 to discuss the proposed 1% sales and use tax for District C and oppose an application for the operation of a dental office on Williams Avenue.

The Ordinance Amendment was up first for introduction. Several residents spoke against the planning and zoning amendment which would change the zoning classification of the property located at 219 Williams Avenue from R-1 Residential to R-1 Residential, Special Exception to Operate a dental office. This will come up for final vote at the July 22 Council meeting.

The Council voted unanimously to table an ordinance to levy an additional 1% sales and use tax in Natchitoches Economic Development District C, which encompasses the hotels and businesses around the Natchitoches exit on I-49.

The Council members agreed that they didn’t have the answers they needed in order to vote on the ordinance. The original idea when it was proposed was to build a sports park without costing the people that live in Natchitoches an arm and a leg. Since the interstate is a hub of immense traffic, the thought was that a tax out there would limit the amount of money spent by residents, while still creating a large impact for the city.

Council member Eddie Harrington said it’s the optics and the fairness of it all that concerns him. Dale Nielsen said that somewhere along the way, the train ran off the tracks and they need to regroup and find the answers to some questions they have, which include projected operating costs and revenue. The ordinance may be adjusted as they get more information, but it can’t be brought back as just a sales tax.

Mayor Lee Posey said if the tax doesn’t pass they’ll have to figure something else out.

Other agenda items included:

Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing
Zoning Classification Of Property Described As Follows:

Lots 9, 10 And 11 Of Readhimer Subdivision From R-1 Residential To R-1 Residential, Special Exception To Operate A Law Office. (1736 Washington St.)

Ordinance To Amend And Re-Adopt Section 22-36 Of The Code Of Ordinances, Which Said Section Is Within Article III, Entitled “Cane River Lake” Of Chapter 22 Entitled “Parks And Recreation”, Said Section Being Amended And Re-Adopted To Amend Regulations Governing Watercraft Operation During Fireworks Displays, Providing For Advertising, Further Providing For Severability, And Further Providing For A Repealer And Effective Date Of Ordinance.

14 thoughts on “City Council tables sales tax, regroups and gathers more information

  1. Who owns the St. Denis? That could possibly tell you why the city is no going after that money. Our sewer rates were increased to build the park so we can expect increases in something else to pay for the operation of the park. Rest assured it will be something the residents will not have an opportunity to vote on. Has anyone found out how much usssg will make from the park? Why do they get $8 per person gate fee from a park built and operated with taxpayers money?

  2. Sharpco is a parasite on the city of Natchitoches coat tails. This group rarely supports any events that come to Natchitoches but they benefit greatly. They say they will lose business customers at alliance or transient workers but where are they gonna stay to not pay the 1%? Many, Alex? I am pretty sure they would spend more than the 1%.

    Get rid of the use portion and do the 1% additional and put it towards the sports park. The hotel is not paying the tax , they are collecting it. The woman from the hotel group is being pushed by her boss and just comes across as ignorant, crybaby.

    The City should not give any money to NSU but use it to enhance the park in the future.

  3. Ok, I just have a few things to bring up. I hate it when the phrase is we’ll find a way or something similar.
    First of all why was a $300,000 bathroom built for a tennis court that the public can not even use.
    Second, why can’t any money be spent on the ball park at east Natchitoches. We have so many children that play there and yet look at the way they have been let go AND the way let’s not even talk about the bathrooms we have to use there they are a nasty disgrace!!!
    Third, our streets are falling apart but look at where any of the council members or the mayor live their roads seem to be so much better.
    Fourth, perhaps we should go back to being happy to see fireworks once a year. They are so common that fewer and fewer people attend. Wasted money all the way around. I know I don’t even care about them now.
    I think I’m through for now.

    • Vote out ALL incumbents! Of course, hopefully, those running against them could fill a thimble with common sense…the current bunch can’t even do that!

      Newly elected mayor and city council members, same for the parish council, can come in with a team of state auditors, a rep from the state’s attorney general’s office, and pour through the books. Whatever they find would not be on them.

      I agree, the whole fireworks/river front thingy is old and stale.

  4. They are still calling it a sales and use tax. This is different than just a sales tax on tourists and people passing through. This is a tax on the supplies that the businesses use and what they sale. Also lets not forget about the hotel occupancy tax money that the city is refusing to collect on the Chateau even though the AG said it should be collected. Why not go after that money?

  5. The mayor said “ we will have to figure something else out “.
    Mims stayed in the meeting, that if the tax does not go through, the city could still operate the park.

    What is the problem?

    • Just saw a mention in an article from The Advocate that points to the growing water problems in small towns and how towns like Sterlington thought spending $millions on a ballparks would lead to softball tourneys being a bonanza, but it hasn’t panned out. Now taxpayers in that town are being taxed to the hilt to service bonds.

      I guess Posey didn’t visit Sterlington, or if he did, he chose not to mention that huge failure!

      • Here’s a copy and paste from that article:

        Some of the problems arise from egregious empire-building by small-town officials, like a multimillion-dollar recreation complex in the northeastern Louisiana town of Sterlington. The bonanza of softball tournaments paying off the bonds never panned out.

        Hobson indicated that Sterlington taxpayers could see further levies of taxes and fees at the Sterlington Sports Complex as well as on sewer and garbage services. For that reason, the new sales tax should not be levied at a rate higher than one percent, he said.

  6. Congratulations to the council for seeing the light and doing
    the right thing by nixing the tax .

    • Did they nix it or just punt for now? I tried watching it, but as with the council itself, with city government itself, no one is in charge. The fellow in the red shirt, councilman, droned on and on and on repeating himself over and over…someone needs to be charge, with an “okay, you’ve said that already.”

      Posey has been caught trying to ramrod this park down the throats of Natch taxpayers. The do-nothing council either was duped, because they don’t pay attention to details. Or! they knew all along and are in cahoots with the mayor. Either way remember this next election. Vote ’em all out!

      Back to your congrats…Okay, let’s say the tax has been nixed. Now what? Posey has admitted there is NO MONEY to support the park. Hey, maybe the mayor and the council will donate their salary to it. Now, what happens without O&M funds?

      Personally, I say nail the businesses out at I-49. They were in agreement with the park being built, knowing they would benefit the most. Posey has said it many times he met with the hotel people out there. They wanted it, now pay for it.

      • I’m really concerned they go up on our water rate and our electrical rate to pay for the park and the people will not have a say so

      • Jason…the Congrats on my part was part sarcastic you know they
        will end up screwing us some how some way over this stupid park and come time to vote they all need to go !

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