Crowley to include cultural products district
By Paula Guillory
The City of Crowley has been approved by the state for a cultural product district, a designation that seeks to promote art development by waiving sales taxes on original works sold within the district and providing tax credits for rehabilitating the district’s historic buildings.
“This is an important step for Crowley,” commented Crowley’s Director of Zoning and Development, Allison Clarke, “It should foster the growth of our cultural economy.”
In Crowley, the district will run along Parkerson Avenue from Pine Street to Northern Avenue and would encompass the two blocks to the east and west.
Art patrons in these districts will enjoy a break from the state’s 4-cent sales tax when purchasing original works of art. The sales tax breaks are expected to go into effect March 1 of this year.
Local sales taxes will be waived as well, but not in the case of Lafayette, where local taxes are pledged to repay bond debt.
State income tax credits of up to 25 percent of restoration expenses would be available to renovate homes in the district, with the highest credits reserved for residents with adjusted gross incomes of $50,000 or less.
Similar tax incentives would be available for restoring commercial buildings or rental property of historical significance as well.
President of the Crowley Art Association (CAA) Robert Baxter foresees this as an opportunity, “to expand the arts of Crowley quite drastically.” The CAA board is “very excited for the arts within the city to be accepted and celebrated!”
According to Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Minden, Lake Charles and Welsh were also approved in the most recent round.
Lafayette’s cultural products district boundaries take in the downtown area and some surrounding neighborhoods.
This is definitely an exciting move in the right direction for the newly restored down town Crowley. The area already boasts terrific artistic flair and a wealth of culture and history.
This designation is an exciting celebration of the arts of the city.