At their Monday night meeting, the Minden City Council unanimously voted "yes" to allow the extension of the State Commercial Tax Credit Program of the State of Louisiana (or the Historic Tax Credit Program) to be added to the October ballot.
"There's really not a need for people to get scared about another new tax," said Kerry Easley, President of the Minden Main Street Board of Directors. "This is not a new tax. It's something we have been paying for 20 years. Everybody will vote on this tax, but only the downtown businesses will pay it."
This tax was enacted 20 years ago and reinstated 10 years ago. Now it's time to renew it again.
The vote will be open to the entire City of Minden, but only those that have property in the downtown area will pay it.
According to Easley, a downtown business owner, it's an essential tax.
"If we don't renew, we're (businesses are) not going to go away, but we're not going to b eas visible," he said. "If anyone wants to know what we've done with this tax in the 20 years we have had it, just look around. All the new lampposts, building fronts, plants and renovations, all the aesthetics have been because of this tax. It has helped and it is needed. We want the people of Minden to know that the people who are going to be responsible for paying this tax want to pay it. They just have to vote yes."
The City of Minden predicts the 1.95 mills tax will bring in $24,000 per year for 10 years.
Louisiana is one of 31 states to offer a Commercial Historic Tax Credit. The 25 percent tax credit was first enacted in 2002.
Minden is not the only city asking for a renewal of this tax.
Downtown development groups and other interested parties all over the state are asking for an additional four-year extension.
The Historic Tax Credit Program has been helping to revive old buildings, create jobs, stimulate tourism, increase tax base and preserve Louisiana's culture and history.