City moves forward with TIF district funding

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The Minden City Council on Monday took action to help pave the way for economic development and fund the city’s newly created tax increment finance districts.

The council approved the introduction of eight resolutions, which would allow the city to collect an additional 2 percent sales tax and an additional 2 percent occupancy tax for hotels in the four new districts.

TIF districts are an economic development strategy that utilizes sales taxes, occupancy taxes, property taxes, or a combination of anticipated tax revenues for future development or finance infrastructure development as well as to redevelop an area or improve existing areas.

The city hopes to entice new businesses and assist existing businesses located within the districts, which are made up of commercial property.

The additional two-cent tax will stay within the district it was collected and used to fund tax incentives.

“If someone that owns property within the district wants to develop it, we could use those funds to help them pay for the development,” Economic Developer James Graham said. “It is also a selling point for property within the district because the purchaser would be able to apply for the incentives to develop the land.”

If the council members approve the resolutions at its November meeting, consumers will pay a sales tax of 12.5 percent at businesses located within the districts across town. Visitors who stay in hotels in the districts will pay 16.5 percent beginning in January 2017.

In other business, the council:

n Approved the minutes of the Sept. 6 meeting.

n Condemned property owned by Latson Souter at 408 N. Roosevelt St. and LEJ Properties Ltd. Partnership at 402 N. Roosevelt St. and set demolition for 45 days.

n Adopted a resolution for annual certification of compliance with State of Louisiana off-system bridge replacement program.

n Adopted a resolution showing support of a Local Government Assistance Program for the fiscal year 2017-2018 application and granting the mayor authority to execute the contract and any other paperwork, as needed.

Adopted a resolution requesting that the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development provide funds required to complete the airport improvements at the Minden Airport specifically as described in the Capital Improvement Program Application for State Financial Assistance.

Adopted a resolution adopting the Louisiana Compliance Questionnaire for the audit period of Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016.

Adopted a resolution authorizing the publication of a notice of intention to levy a not exceeding two percent sales and use tax and a not exceeding two percent hotel occupancy tax in certain existing economic development districts.

Adopted Ordinance No. 1077, Annual Bridge Maintenance Report, a Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development requirement to annually review the posting of city bridges.

Approved amendments to the 2015/2016 budget.

Award the surplus property bid for the sale of scrap metal – used water meters, Bid No. 1-16, to the highest bidder – T&T Auto Salvage & Metal Recycler at the amount of $75 per hundred pound.

Approved the monthly police report.

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