Restaurant/Hotel Tax Passes on 3-2 Vote

Diners and overnight guests at Ruston hotels will be paying an extra 1.75% tax on their bills come the New Year, thanks to a 3 to 2 affirmative vote at last night’s meeting of the Ruston City Council.

Voting for the new tax were Carolyn Cage, Ward 1; Angela Mayfield, Ward 2; and Jedd Lewis, Ward 3. Voting no were Jim Pearce, Ward 4; and Bruce Siegmund, Ward 5.

Proceeds from the tax will be used to underwrite debt to construct a water park, gymnasiums, and a VA/Senior Center adjacent to the sports complex now under construction in South Ruston.

Estimated costs are about $10 million, according to Mayor Ronny Walker.

At least a dozen and a half supporters showed up to speak in favor of the tax, including representatives of the Ruston/Lincoln Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Ruston/Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

The CVB’s Travis Napper read from a resolution from the bureau’s directors, and said that the decision was an easy one for the board.

The CoC’s Lee Denny said, “The board of directors of the Ruston/Lincoln Chamber of Commerce voted to endorse this recommendation of increasing our sales tax on local hotels and restaurants for the Lincoln Parish area. We see the great benefit it provides.”

Several youngsters voiced support for the basketball courts and a volleyball program.

Micheal Gahagan, owner of Country Inn & Suites said, “Nobody wants to have a higher tax, but when the reward is so great, I can tell you from experience, we’re in favor.”

Tisha McConnell said the kids needed a place to hang out. “The kids, they hang out at WalMart, and they don’t have anywhere to go. I’m in favor of it.”

Only one person spoke in opposition, Lou Taylor, who had spoken at the November 5 meeting.

During the council discussion, the two members that voted no (Pierce & Siegmund) also repeated their arguments from earlier meetings.

Pierce said he opposed taxes without a vote of the people, while Siegmund said we needed to finish Phase I of the sports complex before launching into more construction.

Carolyn Cage, one of the three yes votes, said the comments from the visitors made her decision much easier.

43 Responses to “Restaurant/Hotel Tax Passes on 3-2 Vote”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    FLASH—-Other governmental bodies had better hurry to get a piece of the TAX PIE. Soon it may be all gone. Call Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau they will endorse!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    The only kids hanging out at Walmart with no place to go would be kids up to no good. My kids aren’t going to hang out at the sports complex either. Or the ” water park” Its on the wrong side of town. It’s on the high crime side.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Will water park be built to same specs as the so called ice skating rink?

      Will the gyms be rented out to create revenue for city? The cost for renting civic center is too high for what you get. Badly in need of updating. The kitchen is nasty. The ceiling tiles are moldy.

      Will the seniors and vfw share space? How much money will they have to put up to use the space?

      • Anonymous Says:

        Specs of ice rink. Now that’s funny. What specs? It’s a portable plastic fake dirty thing. They can’t even afford good skates. They bought cheap ones that real skaters laugh at. Hickdom at its finest. Let’s pretend we are northerners . Only the rink is already tacky. Won’t last another year. City money well spent?

        • Anonymous Says:

          I’m sure some of mayor’s high dollar assistants not familiar with rinks helped choose the rink and all the assessories. City employees gave the arduous task of assembling each year. Wonder how much money it generates?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Tommy wright, went down to get some coffee at Jefferson’s corner this morning trying to find out some info on Shadoin and Bruce almighty Hampton. Huddle house too. All I heard was a bunch of belly achin over that tax the mayor got passed. This used to be such a nice neighborhood…..

    • Anonymous Says:

      Too late to be bellyaching. Should have bellyached to your alderman. Now it is too late. And guess what, there will be another tax issue in the not too distant future. City barely can pay the salaries now. There will be more layoffs.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I’m a slow country boy, I don’t really know how all these taxes work. But I do understand that if you folks didn’t like the tax you shoulda showed up and told those elected officials. I see that didn’t happen, according to this fine publication forum were commenting on.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    MAYBE——Tommy Wright should keep his A— out of the coffee shop at Jefferson Corner and The Huddle House. Might be a striking improvement!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    No that’s a different one

  6. Tommy Wright Says:

    Tell me about the corruption. People over that way don’t seem to care about Bruce Almighty screwing over a WWII vet.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Honestly have nit heard about it.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Somebody needs to be digging into what’s going on at city hall.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Look into the corruption? Or the lifestyle of yalls mayor?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    They have been juggling budgeted money from one account to the other w/o proper approval since taking office. Has terminated key people, named new auditors. (People who did ask questions that would incriminate him were terminated or forced to retire). As for his personal life, not much can be done about that, but it does cast a bad image on the city. Lots of rumors and gossip whirling around town. A man should run his household as well as the office of mayor with honesty and integrity. God will ultimately be the judge.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Wish his most recent ex wife would tell all

  12. Anonymous Says:

    She needs to defend herself against what he is putting out there about her.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    That’s not what he is saying per his receptionist.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Seems to have set a pattern over the years.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Gabs to anyone who will listen.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Too old

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Nit too old to talk, haha

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Heard from Ns Gabby that city has hired a controller? Seems there are some connections to present administration?

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