City Council approves 1% Sales Tax in District C

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

Social media

Website platform

Billboard and radio advertising

Video streaming

Promotions

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:

PROCLAMATIONS:

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

RESOLUTIONS:

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The next scheduled City Council meeting will be October 14, 2019.


24 thoughts on “City Council approves 1% Sales Tax in District C

  1. Mike Casey and Gwen Stacy you are both delusional. Please educate yourselves before posting in a public forum. Your ignorance is shining like a beacon on a cold dark night.

    • Tommy have you owned a business and worked with these people on 49? If not you need to research! And you can shove your beacon you well you’re a smart guy you figure it out!!!n

      • Well Tommy can’t say you didn’t ask for that one. Especially for your comment including Mrs. Stacy. WRONG FOR THAT! Those two were asking people to continue doing business with those people on the interstate. Seems like a nice thing to do on their part!

  2. move to Natchitoches great place to retire,festivals and murders
    oh…and don’t forget there is no need to vote your local government will
    make choices for you.

  3. I’m through buying anything in District C! When those businesses start hurting, they can go raise hell with the council! We are the highest taxes town in the state! The ballpark should have never been built, if it wasn’t self sufficient. Remember, it was told to us that it was when it was agreed upon to be built! Very weak leadership in our city with no understanding of economics!

  4. Now that it has passed against the will of the people! Locals were already saying if it did they were simply not going to stop out there! I urge those people to keep this in mind! IT’S NOT those businesses fault for this! Don’t stop shopping on 49 because of it. I had a business out there and counted on the local trade much more then 49 traffic.

    Also posted elsewhere

    • Why do you say it was against the will of the people? It seemed to be against the will of the Sharplins not the people. Just because you suround yourself that all believe the same thing does not mean that you are right or a majority. The Sharplins have gone on a crusade against the Mayor over such a small amount of money in back taxes that it would be a loss if the city went after it. Once the AG opinion came back the tax has been collected. The irony is that this park will be a huge benefit to the Sharplins but they have let a petty feud divide something that will benefit the whole community.

      • I disagree. Show me the numbers. The only winner in this game (theParc) is the promoter. The City has the expenses, the promoter gets the proceeds. Who is the promoter paying off?

      • Really Polly?

        First off the City is not in it to MAKE money. Government is to provide services to the citzens. ad build the community. If you read the Pro-Forma there are fees for the promoters to use the facility. Every purchase made by people coming to the event at the Parc is new revenue for each business and tax revenue to pay for the expenses. Every hotel room that is used by participants benefits the hotels. I am not sure how the Hoteliers believe this hurts their business when the City has said that they will waive any extra tax on major purchases. I would like for anyone who travels the highways to tell me which exits they avoid due to Sales tax rates? I drive close to 25,000 miles a year trhoughout this state and couldnt tell you a single tax rate. These people are throwing a childish temper tantrum for something that is only going to benefit the whole area.

      • TM
        The City will use citizens tax money in an amount of say $18,000,000. That’s the taxpayers’ money. What is the ROI to the taxpayers? By the evidence, so far, the return is a negative % in perpetuity. If I am wrong, as I said, show me the numbers. BTW, happy talk and unsubstantiated promises don’t count as numbers.

      • Ok, I think your $18M is an exaggeration but let’s look at the revenue generated by the park. I believe the pro forms is also exaggerated but it is also just softball/baseball and nothing else such as state wide collegiate intramural or other activities but let’s just take $4M/yr instead of the 6 on the form. So if we take your 18M we are looking at 4.5 years to bring in that revenue. Now that money is multiplied when it goes from business to employee to store.

        If you are against the Parc that ship has sailed. The point at this time is the 1% additional sales tax at the interstate businesses.

        If you believe that additional sales tax will cause any significant loss of business you are delusional. In fact thes businesses will only benefit from the new travelers to the park.

        Which again proves this is nothing more than a petty personal issue between the Sharplins and the Mayor.

        In fact this is beginning to look more like a scheme to push Eddie into the Mayors office

      • Hang on there TM. You say $4 million revenue? You make my point. That revenue does not benefit the taxpayers. It benefits the promoter and those connected to his operations. Like maybe a Sporting Goods Store on the premise . The taxpayers will never get a return on this cost to them but they will forever be committed to sink more funds into it while the promoter and his cronies laugh all the way to the bank.

    • TM I was thinking the same thing about Eddie! They knew they had the votes to pass it,so he could vote no and look like a hero! Lol Natty politics at it’s finest!

    • I agree with you. We can moan and groan forever and that is not going to change one thing. I supported you when you had your business and I will continue supporting all the other businesses off I-49. Wendy’s is one of my favorite fast food places to go and the French Market serves great lunches and desserts. Why should they suffer? They did not vote the tax in place.

      • Yes you did Miss Gwen and I always appreciated that. Locals were a huge part of my business,I couldn’t rely on travelers on 49. Some are calling it a spat between the hotels and the city,well maybe so but no reason to make the rest suffer. It’s not their fault the city built something they have no way to pay for,but have to collect the tax for and take a loss in sales over. And add the fact half will be going to NSU when if anything should go to the parish for roads. And I say that because a lot of my business was people from the parish.
        Thank you again Miss Gwen

    • Polly, you must not be comprehending the revenue in this situation. The revenue numbers presented are for spending at restaurants, gas stations & hotels. Each of these business pay employees, purchase items, and make other investments. Any purchase at other types of business is lagniappe.

      You are right, the park itself will never pay for itself, just like other public attractions. What they do is bring people and events to a community where people spend money at the local businesses.

      It seems you have a personal issue with the Mayor or his family that is distorting your understanding of the facts.

  5. If anyone was surprised they are living in the dark. If the city leaders would focus half as much on getting companies to locate here as the do getting a tourist to come this area would be in much better shape. When are the residents going to learn that only a very few people profit from tourists. Only businesses they want are more fast food restaurants.

  6. Hah, so the language doesn’t even restrict the spending of the City’s share of the proceeds on Parc Natchitoches. Even though this tax was vital to funding operations of said park?

Comments are closed.