Mayor-President Kip Holden introduced his proposed tax package today with what he claims is the first of three announcements.  His tax plan, wrapped up with a nice red bow, promised two new downtown hotels and parking lots. 

This is all so confusing given that just last week developer Richard Preis announced his plans to build a downtown hotel with 300 hotel rooms, condos and retail space – a $135 million development. 

Now Holden proposes two more hotels in downtown wrapped up in his tax package.  I’ve seen some creative tax packages before, but this one might take the cake in trying to convince voters to pay more taxes!

Holden reminds me of legislators asking for a pay raise this past session by sending a subtle message to the taxpayers:  If you don’t pass the tax I’m proposing, then you won’t get the two new hotels.  Politics as usual.  The tax proposal also announces an expansion of the BR River Center including two new parking lots and 36,000 additional square feet of meeting space. 

Any way Holden packages his tax plan, it will be a difficult sale to voters who are struggling at the gas pump and grocery store.  Fees and taxes for voters of EBR Parish have continually increased since Holden was elected Mayor-President. 

The next few days should be interesting to see what other enticements Holden plans to sell us in exchange for raising our taxes.  No matter how he packages his tax plan, taxes are taxes are taxes.  How about scrubbing the budget Kip?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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