Landowners discuss Cypress Black Bayou tax millage propositions up for vote

Landowners discuss Cypress Black Bayou tax millage propositions up for vote

BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) -If you use Cypress Black Bayou, those boat stickers and launch fees could soon go away,for a price.

In October, Bossier Parish residents will decide on tax millage renewal propositions and a new millage that would eliminate these two things by increasing taxes for landowners in the area.

Changes could be coming to Cypress Black Bayou, but it all depends on Bossier Parish voters.

“For years and years there’s been controversy about the boat sticker and the launch fees, and then the land owner fees,” said executive director, Robert Berry.

Berry held a meeting Thursday morning to discuss property tax millage renewal propositions, and a new millage proposition.

Up for vote Oct. 12 is a renewal that also increases the millage. If passed, the park’s 1.56 mills would increase to 3 mills, and also eliminate launch fees and boat stickers and reduce fees for piers and boathouses on the water.

Millage revenue would also continue to fund Cypress Black Bayou. Berry says the park is currently operating out of a roughly $1.7 million budget, and if the propositions passes it would be roughly $1.8 million.

Berry says the increase in taxes isn’t intended to increase the revenue but instead replace the money brought in from the launch fee and boat stickers. The money would also be hopefully used to create a monthly or annual pass for senior citizens and veterans.

For landowner Misty Bording, eliminating these fees and boat stickers can create bigger problems for the lake.

“Black Bayou is a small lake as it is," she said. "There’s already an increase amount of traffic by the younger people moving out to north Bossier and moving out to the lake, and to me it’s going to be unsafe.”

Many at the meeting also weren’t fond of their taxes increasing.

“What we’re trying to address there is that we get a very minimum fee for the landowners and we give the general public something by getting rid of these boat stickers, the launch fees and address other areas," said Berry.

If this gets voted down Berry says they’ll continue to operate the park how its been going, but he hopes the public knows this park is available for all who want to use it.

“We encourage everybody that hasn’t been using the parks and lakes to come," he said. "Come us them. That’s what they’re here for. They’re not just here for the landowners, they’re here for everybody.”

Berry says voters in 64 out of the 82 precincts in Bossier Parish will vote on these propositions Oct. 12.

If these propositions pass, they wouldn’t go into effect until 2021.

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