Early voting starts Saturday; hotel tax on Gonzales ballot
GONZALES – Early voting begins Saturday in Louisiana with several tax measures on the ballot. In Gonzales, voters can decided if they want visitors to pay more to stay in the city through a hotel tax.
The two-percent hotel tax would generate $500,000 each year. If passed, city officials would use the money to build an event/convention center along Highway 30.
“It will go hand-in-hand with what we're experiencing with the growth over there on Highway 30, which will enhance the businesses that are there now,” councilman Neal Bourque said.
Bourque says there is already interest in an event center.
“We've talked to entertainment people, we've talked to dance recital people and all are very interested. Because right now, they are having to go to Baton Rouge for different events."
It would be those staying in the hotel rooms paying the increase in tax. The general manager at Springhill Suites, Joe Petersen, says that would fall on nearby plant workers.
“These hotels are built because of the plants and their growing business as well,” Petersen said.
He says if plant workers leave, so will hotel revenue.
“It will be making it a lot more expensive, especially for those folks who are staying days and days on end, so we're a little concerned about that business."
Voters can hit the polls to vote on this tax tomorrow through December first for early voting. The official election date is December 8.