Downtown Sulphur designated as cultural district, bringing new tax benefits

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:03 PM CDT
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SULPHUR, La. (KPLC) - The Louisiana Office of Cultural Development’s Division of the Arts announced the creation of four new Cultural Districts in Louisiana. One of the four new Cultural Districts is downtown Sulphur.

“We are so excited to be partnered with the state and the Office of Cultural Development to have what is now known as the Downtown Sulphur Cultural District,” said city Public Relations Manager Sarah Griffiths. “So this area will be composed of Huntington to north to Napoleon, south to Tamarack, east to Sulphur High School, Hickory area and west to South Stanford Street.”

These new cultural districts bring the statewide total to 128, representing 77 municipalities and 44 parishes. Certified cultural districts benefit from two targeted tax incentives – renovation projects on historic buildings may qualify for state historic tax credits and qualifying works of original art are exempt from local sales tax.

“Now that we’re a cultural district, at some point our goal is for us to be eligible for the Main Street Program, which is a federal program, and with that we’d become we’d be eligible for a lot of grants and funding that could improve the downtown Sulphur area,” said Aaron Quinn, owner of Village Coffee House/Sulphur Downtown Business Association.

The program’s goal is to spark community revitalization based on cultural activity through tax incentives, technical assistance, and resources.

“An organized, concerted effort all going in the same direction, you know, it’s cool, I mean, hopefully you know, in 20 years we’ll be able to come down here and have sidewalks and greenery and there’ll be other businesses that are, you know, complementing each other,” said Hunter Forman of Village Coffee House/Sulphur Downtown Business Association.

“We couldn’t have done it without Ms. Anne Klenke with Visit Lake Charles. She really gave us the help and guidance that we needed to become part of this program,” said Griffiths. “And I know myself and all of the businesses in downtown Sulphur are really excited about getting this going and everything that’s going to come with it.”