The town of Duson could start reaping the benefits of overnight guests through a proposed hotel-motel tax.
Legislation prefiled by state Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, would authorize the town to ask voters to approve a hotel tax rate up to 4 percent. The tax proceeds would help support economic development, tourism and infrastructure needs. The legislative session starts Monday. Montoucet’s bill, House Bill 147, has been assigned to the House Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee.
Currently, the town’s lodging options include a Super 8 and the Frog City RV Park, both easily accessible from Interstate 10. The tax would only apply to motels and hotels, not RV parks, Duson Mayor Johnny Thibodeaux said.
If the legislation is approved, Thibodeaux said, the town could bring a tax proposition to voters in the fall and start collecting the tax by Jan. 1.
“Based on the occupancy right now, we’re looking at $30,000 a year just from that hotel/motel tax and just from that Super 8,” Thibodeaux said.
The town straddles Acadia and Lafayette parishes, and town leaders are banking on its location along I-10 to help attract developers.
Thibodeaux said town leaders have worked to develop the main exit into town, Exit 92, and have attracted a large Love’s Truck Stop, a new restaurant and other businesses. He said future plans involve expanding frontage road access along I-10 to attract more development.
Duson is one of the few communities in Lafayette Parish that doesn’t have a hotel/motel tax, Thibodeaux said.
During last year’s legislative session, Carencro and Scott both received legislative approval to bring a hotel/motel tax proposal to voters. Carencro voters approved a 4 percent tax for economic development and tourism in December, though Scott has yet to bring a hotel/motel tax proposal to its voters. A hotel/motel tax has been collected in Lafayette for many years, while Youngsville voters approved a 4 percent hotel/motel tax in 2013.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.