At their Wednesday meeting, the Board of Directors of the Downtown Development Authority voted unanimously to support the six property tax propositions on the ballot Saturday, April 28.
The DDA believes strongly that these continuations not only strengthen downtown, but the city as a whole.
“The board felt it important to note that these property taxes have been approved by local voters every five years for the last 40. They help pay for things that are necessary to a strong downtown and city; police and fire, Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation(SPAR), city employee benefits and street improvements,” says DDA Executive Director Liz Swaine. “All six matter to downtown.”
#1. Street Improvements- 1.12 mills (to help pay to improve, repair and maintain city streets)- $1.72 million
#2. SPAR Rec Facilities- .083 mills (to help pay for operating and supplying rec facilities) $1.275 million
#3. Salary and Wage Schedule Tax- 1.12 mills (to help pay city employee salaries) $1.72 million
#4- Police & Fire Personnel, Uniforms and Equipment- 1.12 mills (to help pay for police cars, ambulances and uniform allowance) $1.72 million
#5- Pensions, Life Insurance & Hospitalization for City Employees- 1.69 mills (to help pay city allotment for retirement, healthcare and life insurance) $2.596 million
#6- Three Platoon System- 1.470 mills (to help pay for a third shift) $2.258 million
Though #2 (SPAR Rec Facility programming) does not directly affect downtown in that downtown has no recreation center, SPAR itself plays a major partnership role in downtown.
“Think of all the activity at RiverView Park, Festival Plaza, Shreveport Common, Asian Gardens, Oakland Cemetery, Municipal Auditorium, the Red River District, even downtown parades. SPAR also maintains all city facilities, including Government Plaza, RiverView Hall, RiverView Theater, Sci-Port & the Dog Park, which ARE downtown, “ says Swaine. “A significant loss to SPAR’s bottom line would likely mean cuts throughout SPAR’s budget- and we know that some of those cuts would be to the things that people and businesses downtown love most. We would hate to see that happen.”
Board members want to continue the positive change happening downtown and say there is much to be proud of. DDA believes support for the six propositions on Saturday will help keep that momentum going.