ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Some shoppers on the North Shore will soon face a higher tax as 2017 will ring in a 3/4 percent increase at stores in five zones.
At the crossroads of Highway 21 and Interstate 12 near Covington, there is explosive growth at the Riverchase shopping center.
"We've been growing year after year - it has been fun," said Andi Acosta, whose cleaning and alteration shop has been at the location for five years.
The people who shop at Riverchase were caught off guard by news of the tax increase. The new economic development tax approved by the parish council earlier this year will affect stores in five areas along I-12 from Highway 1077 to the west all the way to Airport Road near Slidell to the east.
"Most people tell you they want to invest and plan ahead, but that comes with a small cost," said St. Tammany spokesman Ron Simpson.
Some of the money could be used for landscaping or road improvements; some of it may be used for new areas of economic development. Parrish officials will come up with a plan to spend the millions in revenue that the increase is expected to generate.
"We want to be thoughtful and spend it the best way we can," said Simpson.
The new tax will cost someone who buys $10 worth of goods an extra 7.5 cents
"If they're going to take money away from you, let's see the improvement and let's see it now," said shopper Bonnie Brown.
"If the extra money was going to something beneficial, I'm fine with that, but if it's going in someone's pocket, it's a different story," Rodney Garland said.
Andi acosta doesn't mind paying the tax, she hopes it reaps benefits.