LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A hotel tax was passed unanimously by the Lake Charles City Council last week.
The proposal was Mayor Nic Hunter's resolution to add on to the Parish-wide hotel occupancy tax. The tax aims to help fund infrastructure projects.
Hotels are popping up all over Lake Charles; there seems to be a new one every day. Mayor Nic Hunter says the influx of tourism and visitors is, of course, good for the city, but it will cause some problems down the road.
Hunter states, "The city of like Charles is 150 years old and parts of our infrastructure are showing that age. So, we noticed the strain upon our infrastructure; specifically sewer and water when these hotels open up. When these hotels consolidate in a certain area, the amount of a sewer and water and traffic that is needed to accommodate these hotels increases".
That's where this new tax will come in.
Hunter continues, "What we're asking simply is that visitors to this area, not the citizens of Lake Charles, but visitors to this area pay 1% more when they stay in a hotel here in Lake Charles and that will help us accommodate these builders. (We) Make sure they have the best experience possible and it also will help not take away much-needed assets from citizens".
On top of the parish-wide 10.75% sales tax, a 4% hotel occupancy tax already exists, but it all goes to the convention and visitors bureau. The city is proposing a 1% tax to be added to that-- expected to bring in an extra 750-800 thousand for the city.
Mayor Hunter says, "It'll get spent up very quickly with our budget and the needs of the city, specifically infrastructure, 750-800,000 will be gone in the blink of an eye".
The city also says the money can be bonded out to ensure projects can be completed quicker.