The City Council passed an ordinance to levy an additional 1% sales and use tax in Natchitoches Economic Development District C at its meeting Monday night, Sept. 23. The tax would go toward the operation and maintenance costs associated with running Parc Natchitoches, the new sports and recreation complex the City is building on University Parkway. District C encompasses most of the area around the I-49 exits and some of University Parkway.
The 1% sales and use tax passed with a 3:2 vote. Council members Sylvia Morrow and Eddie Harrington voted against it. Harrington said he didn’t think the tax is a necessity because according to the pro forma the City compiled (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW) the estimated economic impact Parc Natchitoches will generate is $6.5 million.
Forty percent of the money generated by the 1% sales and use tax will go to Northwestern State University and 60 percent will go to the City. The ordinance states the purpose of the tax is to provide for the “paying for costs of acquiring, constructing, equipping, operating and maintaining recreational facilities in the City and fir the promotion of recreation and sporting events in the City.”
NSU has an athletic department that hosts sporting events and related activities on campus and in the City that attracts numerous visitors to the City, which visitors have a large economic impact on the City. Funds transferred to NSU will be used for certain defined purposes as follows:
Facility upkeep and maintenance
Event management operations
Billboard and radio advertising
Funds expended to attract conference championships to Natchitoches
Provide ability to reduce admission for citizens of the City to NSU sporting events being held in conjunction with activities at Parc Natchitoches
Posey also said they’ve found an answer to the “use” portion of the tax by allowing business owners to send in receipts for reimbursement on big ticket items they purchase. He said Natchitoches Tax Commission Administrator Jerry McWherter is working to decide on a dollar amount. Posey said this proposed tax was never intended to penalize business owners with such a “use” tax.
Hotel owners questioned the lack of definitive information regarding the reimbursements and McWherter’s authority over it, because they’re still wondering why the Tax Commission hasn’t collected back taxes owed by Chateau St. Denis.
City Attorney Ron Corkern said when the hotel first opened they were told by McWherter that they wouldn’t have to pay taxes on a $9.95 “value added” fee they charge on top of their room rates.
The Natchitoches Tourist Commission asked for an Attorney General opinion in May, which came back July 1. The hotel paid taxes from July 1 to the present, but McWherter told them they didn’t have to pay the back taxes.
Other agenda items included:
Declare Shawn Carney Day On Behalf Of The Women’s Resource Center (Accepted by: Sunny Arceneaux and Stephanie Campbell)
Declare September 2019 As Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month In The City Of Natchitoches (Accepted by: Leah Lentz)
Declare October 6-12, 2019 As Fire Prevention Week In The City Of Natchitoches.
PLANNING & ZONING – FINAL:
Amend Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing Zoning Classification Of Property at 516 Texas Street from B-2 to B-2 Commercial, Special Exception to operate a package liquor store.
ORDINANCES – FINAL:
Convey Lot 4 Of Block AE Of Roy Addition To The City Of Natchitoches To Joe Raggio And Janie Raggio
ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION:
Award The Bid For The Purchase Of A 3,000 Gallon Rear Module Jet Refueler (Bid No. 0620)
Approve A Conveyance Of A Tract Of Land Situated On The Northern Right Of Way Of Salter Street, To James Ross Davis, For The Sum And Price Of $31,000
Approve The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) For Financial Assistance From The State Of Louisiana DOTD, Division of Aviation For The Natchitoches Regional Airport.
Execute an Agreement With The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD) for improvements at the Natchitoches Regional Airport. (Installation of a Steel-Reinforced Concrete Localizer Building)
Appoint Dallas Russell As A Member Of The Mayor’s Health And Fitness Council For The City Of Natchitoches.
Enter Into A Contract With Risk Services Of Louisiana, Inc. For Property Insurance For The City Of Natchitoches
The next scheduled City Council meeting will be October 14, 2019.