City of Lake Charles brings new hotel occupancy tax to state legislature

City of Lake Charles brings new hotel occupancy tax to state legislature
Hotels popping up in Lake Charles

Passed unanimously by the Lake Charles City Council last week, a resolution to add on to the parish-wide hotel occupancy tax aims to help fund infrastructure projects.

Hotels are popping up all over Lake Charles.

There seems to be a new one every day.

"This is very obvious," said Mayor Nic Hunter. "If you drive down the street you see that."

Hunter says the influx of tourism and visitors is, of course, good for the city, but it will cause some problems down the road.

"The City of Lake Charles is 150 years old and parts of our infrastructure are showing that age," said Hunter. "So, we noticed the strain upon our infrastructure, specifically sewer and water, when these hotels open up, specifically when these hotels consolidate in a certain area, the amount of a sewer and water and traffic that is needed to accommodate these hotel increases."

That's where this new tax will come in.

"What we're asking simply is that visitors to this area, not the citizens of Lake Charles, but visitors to this area, pay one cent more when they stay in a hotel  in Lake Charles and that will help us accommodate these visitors and make sure they have the best experience possible," said Hunter. "It also will help not take away much-needed assets from citizens who live here in Lake Charles."

On top of the parish-wide 10.75 percent sales tax, a four-percent hotel occupancy tax already exists, but it all goes to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The city is proposing a one percent tax to be added to that, expected to bring in an extra $750,000 to $800,000 for the city.

"It'll get spent very quickly, with our budget and the needs of the cities, specifically infrastructure, $750,000 to $800,000 will be gone in the blink of an eye," said Hunter.

The City also says the money can be bonded out to ensure projects can be completed quicker.

This resolution will be brought in front of the state legislature in the next session and if passed, it will be brought in front of the City Council, once again, to be levied.

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