Calcasieu voters to decide Chennault tax renewal

Calcasieu voters to decide Chennault tax renewal

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Chennault International Airport has been providing good quality jobs in Southwest Louisiana for more than 25 years. But in order to continue to do that they say they're going to the need Calcasieu's continued support.

Chennault is set to ask Calcasieu voters to approve a 10-year 5.45 mill property tax renewal. Chennault's Executive Director Randy Robb told the Lake Charles City Council Tuesday some of the reasons voters will want to support it.

"We've provide good quality jobs. Most of our jobs have an average pay of $50,000. Since 1987 our cumulative impact has been $5.5-billion. In Southwest Louisiana that economic impact translates to about $232-million per year," said Robb. "That would be lost if we wouldn't be here."

Operations include Northrop Grumman, Aeroframe Services and Million Air Terminal - just to name a few. They currently employ about 1,500 workers. Robb said in order to keep growing they need Calcasieu to continue to invest.

On March 24th voters will decide the fate of the tax renewal. To put it in perspective a person who owns a $250,000 home in Calcasieu Parish currently pays $63 per year.

"That same tax generated about $7-million last year. It takes almost $12-million annually to operate Chennault. So we need all the help we can get if we are going to continue expanding bringing in more jobs," explained Robb.

Robb expects business at Chennault to double or triple if they are able to build more hangers.

"Right now we are trying to widen the taxiway to serve as an alternate runway. We have Hanger H which is a 112,000 square foot hanger addition to Chennault and that will allow both Aeroframe and Northrop Grumman to expand," said Robb.