On Saturday, April 28, Shreveport residents are being asked to approve 6 property tax continuations. The Board of the Downtown Development Authority asks that you support all 6. At our Wednesday meeting, the board voted unanimously to support these, believing strongly that these continuations not only strengthen downtown, but the city as a whole.

It is important to remember that these property taxes have been approved by local voters every 5 years for the last forty. 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.

The 6 are listed here:

#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 (we have no rec center here), SPAR itself plays a huge 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. 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.

We know that everything’s not perfect and there are things to grouse about.  There’s also a lot to be proud of, and some great momentum downtown that we would love to continue. We think that support for the 6 propositions on Saturday, April 28 will help keep that momentum going.

Thank you for your consideration.