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Tax Looks to Support Mall St. Vincent - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Tax Looks to Support Mall St. Vincent

 It could soon cost you more to do a little shopping at a local mall. Backers say a few extra cents could add up to a better shopping experience for you. Mall St. Vincent is about to undergo a major mall makeover and shoppers may be asked to foot the bill by paying an additional 1 percent sales tax. It was a hot topic at the Shreveport City Council meeting Tuesday, February, 26th.

Sherry Williams shops at Mall St. Vincent. When asked does she mind paying more at the mall, she said, "No, they not gone give me anything out of it." Williams said it's a tough economy out there and any extra tax money could be better used elsewhere in the city.  She advises that the city should, "focus on fixing on our roads and streets. We have plenty of places to shop." 

The proposal was only introduced to Council Members today. Supporters of the tax say it could save the mall from going out of business. Jeff Everson, District B Council Represenative-where the mall is located-said,  "What this should do is enhance the experience so much so that it would attract new busines, and people who haven't been to the mall in a while, it'll bring them back to the mall." Officials got the idea from a success story in Gonzalez, Louisiana where a sales tax was used to revitalize a shopping area. Everson said, saving the mall will greatly benefit shoppers and the neighborhoods around the mall. "This is an attempt to really meet those market demands, to appeal to todays shoppers to the modern shopper. It's not your typical commercial district, it's surrounded by a neighborhood, and so the closure of a structure like that would have such an impact on the surrounding home values so we really want to make sure that this mall continues to be viable for the future."

Council members said they aren't making any decisions just yet-they're still in the discussion phase of this plan. They say they plan on getting community and local business input before moving forward. They also say, saving this mall would revitalize the local economy. Not all of the money would go to structural improvements at the mall. 20 % of the proceeds would go towards the redeveloping the area around the mall. "There are things we can do to help with traffic flow, with signage, with streets, the other things we can do to make sure this area is as desireable as it needs to be for this project to be a success," Everson concluded.

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