Baker residents approved a new hotel tax on Saturday that’s expected to generate extra money for the city.
Fifty-nine percent of voters said “yes” to the tax at the polls, while 41 percent voted against it.
The tax will charge people an extra 5 percent to stay overnight in Baker hotel rooms or at campsites.
It should generate $25,000 to $30,000 a year for the city and will start being collected in January. The tax has no ending date.
Baker only has two hotels, a Western Inn and Executive Inn on La. 19. Baker Mayor Harold Rideau has indicated that it’s possible they could get another hotel sometime soon.
The extra money is expected to go toward parks and recreation programs in the city. But the money can not be used on BREC parks, so it would likely go toward Baker’s City Park.
The mayor has said he would like to add lighting to the park’s track, improve its surface and build a pavilion.
Baker hotels already have a 4-percent tax that East Baton Rouge Parish imposed. Of the money, 3 percent goes to Visit Baton Rouge and 1 percent goes toward debt on the Baton Rouge River Center.
East Baton Rouge’s total hotel tax, with local and state taxes combined, is 12.41 percent.