New Ruston Taxes to Collect $1.75 Million/Yr

The new sales and bed taxes on Ruston restaurants, movie theaters, and hotels is expected to take up to $1.75 million per year from customers, it was said at last night’s meeting of the Ruston City Council. That money will be used for “economic development projects,” Mayor Ronny Walker said.

Said Walker, “We’re trying to replace the one gymnasium we have in our city… that’s the Bobby James Gym… so we’re trying to replace it with three new gyms in one complex at the RPAR Complex on 167 South. We also want to add a Senior Center… for our senior adults. The VFW building is literally collapsing… we would like the Senior Citizens Center and a VFW home.”

He added that two years ago, the public swimming pool was closed because it would have cost $2 million to repair. To replace the pool, some type of water park would be built if the tax passes, Walker said.

The council voted unanimously to authorize publication of a notice to proceed with the plan. A public hearing and final vote will be held at the November meeting, according to the documents.

In response to our question, Walker said that bonds would be issued to fund the projects, and paid off from the sales tax revenues.

At the Monday, 10/1 meeting of the council, a public hearing will be held to hear any objection to creation of the tax district. Approximately 110 businesses will be in the district and will be subject to the new tax.

In other business, the council gave final approval to the budget for fiscal year 10/1/18 – 9/30/19. The budget includes the pay raises for the mayor and council.

The council voted unanimously for the budget.

33 Responses to “New Ruston Taxes to Collect $1.75 Million/Yr”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    You expect me to believe mayor is actually thinking about building a
    senior center and a VFW home?

    • Anonymous Says:

      He cares not about seniors. Or he would keep the older employees he let go. Show up Ruston and business owners at the Oct meeting. Protest!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Sounds like mayor is trying to be Mr. Nice Guy promising a senior center and VFW building. Tell them what they want to hear, and when the tax district passes, he will do what he wants with the money. And it won’t be a senior center or VFW hall. You can bet on that.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Swimming pool was closed a few years ago because the upkeep was too costly and revenue was very low.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Remember he called it a ” mini , mini , mini ” water park in paper article right? Didn’t he say mini three times? It’s a token water park. Not a main event. Doesn’t he realize he’s a senior?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Political hogwash!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    To quote mayor Walker: Said Walker, “We’re trying to replace the one gymnasium we have in our city… that’s the Bobby James Gym… so we’re trying to replace it with three new gyms in one complex at the RPAR Complex on 167 South. We also want to add a Senior Center… for our senior adults. The VFW building is literally collapsing… we would like the Senior Citizens Center and a VFW home.”

    To quote the Ruston Leader: Ruston’s Board of Aldermen is set to vote in October on the possible creation of an economic development district aimed at generating money to build a multi-court gymnasium, senior center and water feature in the city’s new sports complex.

    Now tell me this, which quote is correct? Will City build a new VFW home. THERE IS NO MENTION of it in the Leader’s quote.

    A senior center and VFW home are two different things. Which is correct Mayor.

  6. Mr. E Says:

    If demand for a water park existed, then some entrepreneur would risk his own money to develop that business opportunity. Government should never be in business because government officials are risking taxpayer dollars and not their own. When their ventures fail, it’s taxpayers on the hook. Recall the enthusiasm the city had a few years ago about building a golf course or buying the Ruston golf course. Golf courses are notorious money losers which rarely ever turn a profit. Government needs to stay out of private enterprise and stick to providing just the few services desired by the taxpayers.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Most sensible things I’ve heard of late. But the City has an irrational leader – thinks he is a monarch and can wield his power as he sees fit. The glory days of financial stability and rational leadership are over for now. Where’s the Ethics Board?

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Mayor is risking taxpayer monies and no telling how much the losses are at this point. I can’t believe there is no check and balance with this guy. He has backup team that has been snookered into believing it is for the Community. When it fails, he will blame his consultants, attorneys, treasurer, controller [no, wait, he got rid of the controller. She knew too much].

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Very capable lady who was hired with a CPA, so you know she knows her stuff.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Most local businesses receive by email or go to LP Courthouse.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    No. A list of all legal recordings at the Courthouse.

  12. Inquiringmind Says:

    Town hall meetings mentioned in paper today. Only reasons politicians do that is to sweet talk public. Show up and fight his ideas.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Taxation without representation? Yes bring on the town hall meeting. Many of us are ready to oppose.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Walker has had plenty of experience in sweet talking. I encourage EVERY taxpayer to attend one or both meetings and DEMAND accountability. Ask some hard questions and watch him squirm. Record the meeting so you have proof. He has been known to say one thing and do another. It is very important that taxpayers let their voices be known before the next council meeting on October 1.

    • Anonymous Says:

      He will sure squirm when asked hard questions by public. Too many people now know things. No time limit either like at council meetings. Public can ask and expect answers.

  14. Anon Says:

    Wow! Ruston’s Long-Term Debt has gone from $19 million in 2015 to $84 million in 2017.

    • Anonymous Says:

      The city is deeply in debt

      • Anon Says:

        By using the Tax Increment District and Economic Development District the Mayor is avoiding having to have the citizens vote on new taxes as well as avoiding the 35% state maximum long-term debt limit, which would be $70 million using 2017 numbers.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Mayor won’t take the blame. He will blame the financial mess on past administration, financial advisors, the Treasurer past or present, or his economic development guru. But mayor is ultimately the one who controls all things – the same one who says he does not micro-manage departments. He has and he does call the shots with or without council backing.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Record the town hall meetings. In future you can bet he will not do as he says. He will most likely not do another term after this one and city will be left in shambles . With a defunct sports complex and water park and senior center nobody wants.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Mayor is only one to blame. He could blame others if he had kept all the people he has let go. But his list so long that he’s now the only one to blame. He can’t even blame the council.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Don’t forget the “home for VFW” he mentioned along with senior center. You know, I heard he even changed financial advisors (bonds) a few months ago. Go figure.

        • Anonymous Says:

          Men often run cities , states and countries in same way they run families or marriage ( s )

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Run or ruin?

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