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Caddo Commission considering Amazon tax increment financing district

Rendering of Amazon robotics facility coming to Shreveport, La.
Rendering of Amazon robotics facility coming to Shreveport, La.(Project Cosmeaux)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 2:58 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The Caddo Commission is considering possibly creating an Amazon TIF (tax increment financing) district.

The ordinance, proposed by Commissioner Steven Jackson, aims to develop the area surrounding Amazon. The center is located on 135 acres at the Hunter Industrial Park in north Shreveport near Interstates 20, 49 and 220.

“We want to attract more distribution in the area. We want to attract more retail in the area. We want the area to have more curb appeal,” District 3 Caddo Commissioner Steven Jackson said.

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The parish would need to establish a baseline; anything above that baseline could be used toward the district. Jackson emphasized this TIF would not increase taxes.

“You’re putting out a bucket of water, expecting it to rain; and once it rains, everyone’s grass will continue to be watered,” he explained, using an analogy. “But you will have a reserve that can go back into the district.”

“This governing authority may create a special trust fund for the furtherance of economic development projects, as defined in the EDD Act, into which the incremental increases in such sales taxes, property taxes and hotel occupancy taxes shall be deposited and loaned, granted, donated, or pledged in furtherance of economic development projects,” according to the proposal.

While the Amazon center is not expected to be finished until September 2022, District 4 Commissioner John-Paul Young said the ordinance should be passed sooner, rather than later.

“It makes sense for us to have our ducks in a row before everything gets kicking,” he said. “In order to have economic development take place there -- instead of, for instance, across 220 in Bossier -- it can be prudent to set up a financing mechanism to improve the roads and other infrastructure that needs to be in place to make it a nice place to shop.”

Both commissioners view the Amazon facility as an opportunity to develop the area surrounding it, and they both expressed optimism about passing the ordinance through the commission.

Shreveport City Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor has also expressed her support for the ordinance.

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