Commission to talk supporting Minden TIF districts

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The Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission will discuss passing a resolution in support of the Tax Increment Financing districts for the City of Minden.

Executive Director Lynn Dorsey says the commission could be part of a consortium that will be the governing body of the TIF districts within the City of Minden.

“What the commission is attempting to do, and the steps being taken in our April board meeting, is to put in place a resolution encouraging the development of TIF districts being developed by the City of Minden to further develop tourism and tourism-related infrastructure and commercial development,” she said. “We think it’s a great thing for the city to do by getting these TIF districts.”

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

The commission will also consider a resolution for adopting an ordinance regarding the sales taxes on hotels in Webster Parish. Commission Chairman Jerry Madden says they are trying to be proactive as the state’s economy continues to drag. He says the tourism industry as a whole is being cut by 15 percent for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

“We don’t have to have legislative approval to apply for an additional hotel/motel tax,” he said. “Tourism is the biggest money maker the state has and they are cutting funding. Without taxpayer burden, we are trying to find a way to keep everything running. People who are visiting and passing through are the ones funding it.”

The current tax rate is set at four percent, and Madden says they are looking at raising it another two percent to total six percent.

Dorsey says this is in line with other area tourism commissions, adding this is the first time they’ve increased it in 10 years.

The commission will also consider:

  • an advertising grant for the Froggy Bottom Unity Festival. It is a fundraiser for the Cullen Museum, area parks and the recreational program in the Town of Cullen. The event will be September 2-4. The grant request is for $1,000 to advertise through radio, newspapers, signs, brochures and churches.
  • an advertising grant for the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce Dodge Ball Tournament. The tournament will have 16 six-member teams to compete for prizes. The plan is to grow the tournament and become a part of the National Amateur Dodge Ball Association’s circuit of tournaments that attracts participants and fans from across the country. They are asking for $1,000 to advertise in print, radio and television.

The commission will also appoint chairs for the personnel, advertising and grant committees.

The meeting is set for 8 a.m., Tuesday, April 26, at the Springhill-North Webster Chamber of Commerce, located at 400 N. Giles Street in Springhill.

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