Carolyn Roy | News Editor
“The City is making money and we will continue making money,” is the way Natchitoches Tax Commissioner Laura Jeffcoat described the uptick in sales tax collections over the past two years. Her remarks were made at the City Council meeting Monday at the request of Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr.
The report Jeffcoat issues each month tracks the sales tax collections for the City, School Board and Parish Government. Those collections increased over the previous year.
Collections in November were actually higher than in December since holiday events and sales start earlier each year. She described December events as generating more tax since the weather was good with food trucks, good attendance and festival events contributing.
Even though COVID-19 was a factor, families still had to eat and pay living expenses. Also contributing were generous Federal stimulus checks.
Even automobile sales increased over the last two years. “They’re buying cars” she said, noting that the Vaughn dealership should “sell it’s first car in March.”
“Oil and gas have been back since October. They’re here and they’re spending money,” she said of the increase in the number of employees associated with the industry. “Natchitoches doesn’t know what recession means.”
The report shows the City’s month-to-month collections in December were $133,000 more than the same period a year ago. Collections in December 2021 were $1,054,949 and in December 2020 were $941,573.
Year-to-date collections in 2021 were 17.89 percent higher than the previous year, or an increase of $1,954,200. In 2021, collections totaled $12,878,719; and in 2020, collections were $10,924,519.
Also of interest are collections in the economic development zones created to collect an additional 1 cent in the Interstate-49 corridor and in other hotel and motels not in that corridor. The tax was created to support operations and maintenance of Parc Natchitoches since, theoretically, the hotels and businesses in those districts benefit most from those visiting the park.
In 2020, the total collections in those districts were $291,757. In 2021, the collections were $412,756.
In 2020, of the total $291,757, the City received $175,054 and Northwestern received $116,703.
In 2021, of the total $412,756, the City received $247,653 and Northwestern State received $165,102.