Hotel Taxes Pass In Caddo-Bossier, Baker

SHREVEPORT, LA (AP) — Taxing visitors is a good way to raise money, voters in Baker and in Caddo and Bossier parishes decided. They approved new hotel taxes expected to raise $1.7 million a year in northwest Louisiana and $25,000 to $30,000 annually in Baker.

         Seventy-two percent of Saturday's Caddo and Bossier parish voters said "yes" to adding 1.5 percent to the hotel tax, The Times’ Kevin Connelly reports. The new revenue will be divided evenly among the Ark-La-Tex Regional Air Service Alliance, the Independence Bowl Foundation and the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.

         "We're obviously very pleased with the results," said Camping World Independence Bowl chairman Kyle McInnis. "We feel like we really took a lot of time and effort to tell the voters what it was and how it would benefit the area and they came through for us."

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         Fifty-nine percent of Baker's voters wanted a 5 percent tax on overnight stays in hotels and at campsites, The Advocate’s Andrea Gallo reports. The money will go toward city-run parks and recreation programs.

         Other tax elections around Louisiana had mixed results.

         Across Terrebonne and Lafourche, voters approved half a dozen property taxes Saturday that support a public hospital, ambulance service, fire protection and drainage.

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         Sterlington voters approved a sales tax for a sports complex while Morehouse Parish voters supported a tax for the Morehouse General Hospital.

         In Lafayette Parish, voters renewed a long-standing property tax Saturday that provides about $14 million a year for the Lafayette Parish School System.

         In Ouachita Parish, Sterlington voters opposed a $3.5 million, 15-year property tax in support of the town police department. It failed by 51 percent.

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