- Associated Press - Sunday, November 22, 2015

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Taxing visitors is a good way to raise money, voters in Baker and in Caddo and Bossier parishes decided. They approved new hotel taxes expected to raise $1.7 million a year in northwest Louisiana and $25,000 to $30,000 annually in Baker.

Seventy-two percent of Saturday’s Caddo and Bossier parish voters said “yes” to adding 1.5 percent to the hotel tax, The Times (https://bit.ly/1X5Fo9r) reports. The new revenue will be divided evenly among the Ark-La-Tex Regional Air Service Alliance, the Independence Bowl Foundation and the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.

“We’re obviously very pleased with the results,” said Camping World Independence Bowl chairman Kyle McInnis. “We feel like we really took a lot of time and effort to tell the voters what it was and how it would benefit the area and they came through for us.”

Fifty-nine percent of Baker’s voters wanted a 5 percent tax on overnight stays in hotels and at campsites, The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1QCu0Om) reports. The money will go toward city-run parks and recreation programs.

Other tax elections around Louisiana had mixed results.

Across Terrebonne and Lafourche, voters approved half a dozen property taxes Saturday that support a public hospital, ambulance service, fire protection and drainage.

Sterlington voters approved a sales tax for a sports complex while Morehouse Parish voters supported a tax for the Morehouse General Hospital.

In Lafayette Parish, voters renewed a long-standing property tax Saturday that provides about $14 million a year for the Lafayette Parish School System.

In Ouachita Parish, Sterlington voters opposed a $3.5 million, 15-year property tax in support of the town police department. It failed by 51 percent.


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