DONALDSONVILLE — City councilmen voted 3-1 Tuesday to allot $105,600 in state hotel-motel tax revenues to three local entities.
Donaldsonville’s share of the revenues, which is less than that of recent years, is a portion of Ascension Parish’s total tax revenues from lodging businesses.
“With the new formula, the amount we get will change each year,” Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. said. “Over the next few years, it should increase with new hotels coming in.”
Ascension Parish Government receives 75 percent of the total hotel-motel tax revenues in the parish, Sullivan said. Both Donaldsonville and Gonzales receive 12 percent, while Sorrento receives 1 percent.
Of the total allotted to the city, $50,000 will go to the River Road African-American Museum & Gardens, $40,000 to the city’s Downtown Development District and $15,600 to the local Louisiana Development Ready Cities group.
State law requires the hotel-motel tax revenues be spent on programs that promote culture and tourism in their respective areas.
Councilman Emile Spano, who voted against the measure, requested the matter be discussed in the council’s committee of the whole meeting next week before voting.
Spano also expressed concern that the city’s chamber of commerce, which oversees tourism, would not receive funding under the proposed divisions.
Spano also said that a recent $10,000 advance of funds from the city to the Downtown Development District is still on the books to be repaid.
Councilman Charles Brown Sr., who moved to approve the plan, said the city needs to invest in the agencies.
“We need to give back to these groups,” Brown said. “We’re looking to reap all the time, but we never want to sow.”
In other matters, the council voted to set Halloween trick-or-treat hours in the city for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30.
The decision came in light of high school football games taking place on Oct. 31, and concerns from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office of manpower issues if trick-or-treaters were out that same night.