Minden Press-Herald

Wednesday
Oct 01st

Jury supports tax credit

The Minden Downtown Development/Minden Main Street Commission has gained support from the Webster Parish Police Jury (WPPJ) on a very important issue: the extension of the State Commercial Tax Credit Program of the State of Louisiana (or the Historic Tax Credit Program).

“This affects commercial and residential areas in Minden,” said Pattie Odom, Director of Downtown Development/Minden Main Street. “All of the work we’re doing to rehabilitate downtown Minden depends on keeping these tax credits. If it’s discontinued, we may as well give up and walk away.”

Louisiana is one of 31 states to offer a Commercial Historic Tax Credit. The 25 percent tax credit was first enacted in 2002. Now, downtown development groups and other interested parties all over the state are asking for an additional four-year extension.

During yesterday’s meeting, the WPPJ voted to give their support in the extension of the Historic Tax Credit Program that has been helping to revive old buildings, create jobs, stimulate tourism, increase tax base and preserve Louisiana’s culture and history for the last eight years. 

Both Odom and Lynn Dorsey, Executive Director of the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, were present at the meeting and both were pleased the jurors gave their support.

“I commend you for supporting the tax credits,” Dorsey told the jurors. “I’m not sure if many people are aware of this, but Webster Parish is one of the only parishes that have two Main Street programs and those programs need these tax credits to keep going.”

During that same meeting, the jury was told of a Hydrology meeting that will be held at 2 p.m., May 10 in the police jury meeting room at the Webster Parish Courthouse. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss creating a man-made lake and other issues with local waterways. The public is invited to attend.

Jeri Lee, District 9 juror, was appointed to represent the WPPJ on the Human Services District board. The Human Service District will work with the Department of Health and Hospitals to help provide free behavioral health services to people in need.

Not all police jurors are happy about the Human Services District, however.

“I am in support of Jeri Lee being the one we appoint for this,” said District 3 Juror Daniel Thomas.  “But I’m not happy about this program. I have expressed my dislike from the beginning and still feel that creating a Human Service District is creating another government bureaucracy.”

The Human Service District will remain a state entity but will be staffed and controlled by local representatives from each parish in a region. The vote to appoint Lee as a representative was unanimous.

 

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