Barbara Norton Opposes Local Tax To Benefit Independence Bowl

Barbara NortonLouisiana Rep. Barbara Norton (D-Shreveport) opposed HB1191, which would propose a public vote to levy an additional 2.5 percent hotel and motel tax in Caddo Parish and Bossier Parish to fund the Independence Bowl Foundation, the Shreveport Bossier Sports Commission and the ArkLaTex Regional Air Service Alliance.

As reported, the bill passed committee on an 8-2 vote, with Norton as the only local lawmaker to the area that voted against it.

Proceeds from the bill are slated to benefit the Independence Bowl Foundation (37.5 percent), the ArkLaTex Regional Air Service Alliance (37.5 percent) and the Shreveport Bossier Sports Commission (25 percent).

Paul Pratt, the 2014 Duck Commander Independence Bowl chairman, believes the tax would raise approximately $2.6 million annually — $900,000 per year for the bowl foundation.

Norton asked Pratt in the committee meeting how much money Duck Commander was bringing in. Pratt said the Duck Commander sponsorship for the Independence Bowl is valued at approximately $1.3 million per year.

Norton also asked Pratt if he had names of any of the teams that he has spoken with about participating in the Independence Bowl. But, as most bowl games are, there is a process in which Pratt must go through with the ACC and SEC as far as handing out bids for the bowl.

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