GONZALES — The City Council voted unanimously Monday to add another perk — an entertainment district tax — on top of an economic incentive package worth up to $76,000 intended to lure an entertainment complex to the former Walmart building near Airline Highway and La. 44.
A proposed entertainment district would be created solely for the complex, and would allow the district to charge an additional 2-cent tax for its products, which the city would give back to the district.
The complex will possibly include a bowling alley and a movie theater, Mike Eades with the Ascension Economic Development Corp. has said.
The city did insert two caveats into the measure, said City Clerk Clay Stafford — that the city bear none of the costs of setting up or enforcing the entertainment district, and that the city retains the right to override the entertainment tax in the event that it conflicts with any other tax the city imposes.
For instance, if a cap were ever imposed on taxes, and the district tax caused the city to exceed that cap, the city would be able to reduce the entertainment district tax, Stafford said.
Last month, the council approved a separate package for the same project, proposed by the parish Economic Development Corp. that includes a 2-cent sales and use tax rebate on improvements made by the tenants.
That would cost the city between $40,000 and $60,000, Eades, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp., said at the time.
The package also included a five-year freeze on property taxes for any improvements to the property.
The program’s cost to Gonzales is estimated to be $8,000 to $16,000, according to Economic Development Corp. documents.
The city would still continue to collect property taxes based on the building’s original assessment.
Eades has said the city’s earnings after one year of full operations is projected to be between $70,000 and $146,000, and the project is expected to bring 70 jobs — 16 full-time and 54 part-time.
WINNING BID: The city unanimously approved a low bid of $360,583 from R.J. Daigle and Sons for asphalt overlays to all four streets in Fife Subdivision in Gonzales. Chief Engineer Jackie Baumann said the city had $450,000 budgeted for the project, which had two bidders.