DONALDSONVILLE – City officials are hoping to rekindle a recently lapsed sales tax revenue agreement with parish government and law enforcement involving collections on a 750-acre sales tax district along La. 3089.
The City Council approved Tuesday a proposed agreement with Ascension Parish Government and the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office to share sales tax revenues for the area, after certain standards are met.
The move came with doubt by some on the council that it may fall upon deaf ears at the parish level.
“It may be a formality, but we at least have to send them something to consider,” said Councilman Lauthaught Delaney Sr., who made the motion to approve the agreement.
If the proposal is approved by all parties, as of July 1, businesses such as Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s and Wendy’s could revert to the 9 percent sales tax charged throughout the rest of the city.
A previous decade-long agreement among the three agencies, which saw them split sales tax revenues once a benchmark of $1.75 million in collections was met, expired at the end of 2013.
An eleventh-hour renewal attempt failed, activating collection of a 2-cent parish sales tax on April 1 and upping the district’s total rate to 11 percent.
The parish has been pushing for a 50-50 share in the revenues without a set benchmark. However, Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. has said such a deal would bring a $250,000 hit to the city’s tax coffers per year, with the city still being responsible for providing services to the area.
According to the proposed agreement, the amount of revenue shared would not exceed the total tax revenue collected each year within the district. This total would also not include the city’s half-cent sales tax.
The new agreement would also have no end date, city attorney Chuck Long said, but would require a six-month notice of termination.
“The ball’s in their court now,” Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin said of the parish entities.