Sales tax rate climbs in key commercial center in Donaldsonville

Sales taxes in a key commercial section of Donaldsonville rose by 2 cents on the dollar Tuesday to 11 cents after a last-minute tax-sharing deal failed to materialize, officials said.

Efforts continue to reach an agreement and bring sales tax rates in the 750-acre area along La. 3089 back to the 9 percent charged in the rest of Donaldsonville , the officials said.

“With no council agreement, as of today, the 11 percent kicks in,” City Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin said Tuesday.

The old agreement that ended Monday included a benchmark that allowed Donaldsonville to collect $1.75 million in sales tax revenue citywide before the sheriff and parish could collect any share of sales tax from the annexation area.

The parish has been pushing for a 50-50 share in the annexation area without a revenue benchmark. Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan has said such a deal would leave the city short $250,000 per year while still responsible for providing services.

Parish Councilman Chris Loar has raised concerns that a deal outside a 50-50 tax share could set precedents for other annexation agreements in the parish.

Sheriff Jeff Wiley said his chief deputy, Tony Bacala, who also sits on the parish sales tax authority, has been meeting with Donaldsonville officials.

The model being discussed would move toward an even share of sales taxes between Wiley’s office and the city without a revenue benchmark, the sheriff said.

His office collects 0.5 percent sales tax. The parish collects 1.5 percent sales tax.

Wiley said he is trying to balance Donaldsonville’s fiscal needs with the concerns of setting precedents.“I am going to be disappointed if we don’t have it hammered out by Friday,” Wiley said.