Last Modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 5:19 PM
Calcasieu Parish voters should approve on Nov. 6 the renewal of a property tax that funds the Burton Coliseum facility and other entities in the parish.
The 1.5-mill tax is used not only to operate, maintain and improve the coliseum complex, but also helps fund the LSU AgCenter and will be used to help operate and maintain the West Calcasieu Arena and Events Center.
The tax was originally approved by voters in 1993 and renewed by them in 2003.
The tax is one of the best bargains around.
The Burton Coliseum facility serves all of Southwest Louisiana through its unique versatility. The complex hosts more than 200 events annually, ranging from rodeos to McNeese men’s and women’s basketball games, to McNeese and high school graduations, to festivals and a variety of 4-H events and other education programs for students.
The Burton Coliseum Complex is undergoing the second phase of improvements to the facilities, which includes a new roof and exterior skin for the coliseum, power and lighting systems upgrades and improved accessibility through American Disability Act compliance.
The West Cal Arena hosts about 170 events annually, including western and equestrian competitions, rodeos, community events and banquets. The opening of the events center is expected to increase that number of events.
Parish residents of all ages also benefit from the AgCenter, also known as the county agent. It helps sponsor events like the Southwest Louisiana Garden Festival, sponsors master gardener classes and provides a variety of educational programs for area youngsters.
That’s a lot of bang for a few bucks. The annual bill for a property owner with an assessed value of $150,000, the 1.5 mill tax costs $11.25 annually. For a piece of property assessed at $250,000, the annual tax bill is $26.25. The tax is subject to the state’s homestead exemption that mandates that the first $75,000 value of property is tax exempt.
That tax is a small price to be paid for facilities that have so many uses by area residents.
That’s why we wholeheartedly endorse the Burton Coliseum and Agricultural Services Tax Renewal and recommend that Calcasieu Parish voters approve it two weeks from today.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.