The Lafourche Tourist Commission will soon be increasing the hotel/motel tax for visitors to the parish.
A state Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Norby Chabert, R-Houma, that will increase the hotel tax from 3 percent to 4 percent, is waiting to be signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The increase will generate an estimated $95,000 a year, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou President and CEO Timothy Bush said.
The tax solely benefits the Lafourche Tourist Commission, also known as Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou.
The commission has the authority to increase the tax to 5 percent before requiring additional voter approval, Chabert said.
“I strongly believe in tourism; it’s the greatest investment you can make in the state of Louisiana,” he said.
The commission decided to increase the tax to remain competitive with nearby parishes. The additional revenue will be used to continue marketing efforts for new and existing events within the parish, Bush said.
“We’re very appreciative of his efforts and support of tourism to help up with this process,” Bush said about Chabert, calling him a “champion of tourism.”
According to Lafourche Parish April sales tax collection reports, revenue from the hotel tax has been declining since the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
Collections have steadily dropped from about $556,00, to $480,000 to $370,000 during the past three fiscal years.
Since the current fiscal year began in July 2017, the parish has collected about $270,000 from the hotel/motel sales tax with three months remaining.
Despite the overall decline in revenues, Bush said revenue is starting to maintain a consistent level.
Hotel occupancy rates increased 2 percent from April 2017 to April 2018, he said.
Revenues started to increase slightly since December, leading the commission to anticipate a slight increase by the end of the fiscal year, Bush said.
“As a commission we’ve definitely seen strong indicators of tourism increasing,” he said. “We want to not only maintain but grow our tourism.”
The hotel tax is the only tax revenue that goes solely to the tourism commission.
-- Daily Comet staff writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @gingerale214.
Posted on Fri, June 1, 2018
by By Julia Arenstam Daily Comet Staff Writer