DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Nearly 80% of the businesses in Denham Springs were shut down after the August flood and till this day, some are still trying to open their doors, including some of the giants that carry Denham Springs.
"Our biggest contributors in sales tax would be Sam's, Bass Pro, Walmart, and Home Depot," said Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry.
Sam's and Bass Pro have since re-opened. Home Depot did not open till late in October and Walmart is not expected to return to business until at least March. "Over 60% of our budget that we operate the City of Denham Springs on is from sales tax," said Mayor Landry.
With two reliable businesses shut down in September and much of October, Mayor Landry said it's taxes from car sales that kept them afloat. 77% of homes in Denham Springs flooded, that included many cars so many are having to buy new cars to replace their flooded vehicles. A portion of the sales tax from that car purchase comes back to Denham Springs.
For example, the sales tax in Denham is 10.5%. Of that, 5% goes to the State of Louisiana, 4% goes to Livingston Parish, and 1.5% goes to the City of Denham Springs.
It's why the tax collection from car sales increased seven-fold compared to the same month the previous year, which in turn boosted overall sales taxes for Denham Springs.
TAX REVENUE FROM CAR SALES
September 2015- $23,707
September 2016- $180,524.14
Percentage Increase – 761%
October 2015- $28,559
October 2016 - $210,699.73
Percentage Increase – 737%
OVERALL SALES TAXES IN DENHAM SPRINGS
September 2015- $608,574
September 2016- $737,147
Percentage Increase – 21.1%
October 2015- $578,439
October 2016 -$791,802
Percentage Increase – 36.8%
"I was like, 'Oh my goodness.' We are so concerned with what our future
is going to be here and how we going to continue to provide the services that our citizens pay for," said Mayor Landry.
He said no services will be cut. Eventually, he said car sales will level out, but by then, Walmart should reopen and with so much of the city having to rebuild, Home Depot and the rest of the biggest contributors will be able to provide the needed sales taxes.
The mayor said the increased revenues from car sales will help add to their rainy day fund in case they were to ever need that again like they did during the flood.