Highlights from the Parish President’s Report of the St. Martin Parish Council Committee Meetings of September 20, 2022

HISTORICAL HORSE RACING
In the 2021 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, Act Number 437 was enacted which legalizes historical horse racing machines for off-track betting (OTB) parlors. Historical racing machines (HHR) look and operate much like slot machines; however, in lieu of randomizing the outcome of a play, the HHR’s determine winners based on previously run races. On an HHR, one bets on the outcome of horse races just like he would at any Off-Track Betting Parlor or a horse racing track. The difference is that on an HHR, the betting is on actual past races, and when a bet is made, a race is randomly selected from a pool of nearly 100,000 prior races. Obviously, no identifying information, such as when and where the race took place and which horses and jockeys participated, is revealed. The machines are for all intents and purposes “slot machines.”

Recently, at least one local video poker operator has complained about the impact of these “slot machines” on video poker outlets. Noteworthy, is that there is a fear that those interested in gaming will opt to use the HHR’s devices to the exclusion of playing video poker machines. Of interest to local government is the fact that the HHR’s do not generate taxes for local government.

Louisiana has 17 off-track betting facilities which can offer these devices under Act 437. Also, the legislation provides that no facility may house more than fifty of the machines. Other key details of Act 437 are:
• Authorizes HHR’s on the premises of off-track wagering facilities only via dedicated machines or personal mobile devices.
• Limits each primary licensee or licensed off-track betting facility to no more than 50 machines.
• Instructs the Louisiana State Racing Commission to promulgate rules for and license historical horse racing.
• Limits the HHR commissions to 12% of all wagers.
• Requires the licensee to disburse 20% of HHR revenue to horsemen’s purses.

While the state does not tax the HHR revenue, it is supposedly expected that the HHR will boost the horse racing activities, thus providing additional state revenue.

It is my understanding that West Baton Rouge Parish and Jefferson Parish have both enacted ordinances to limit the number of such machines in their respective jurisdictions. I am not privy to any of those ordinances, and frankly, I question whether a local jurisdiction can impose restrictions which are greater that what the state has imposed on such gaming activity. Also, I have not been provided any sort of empirical data which addresses the impact of HHR’s on video poker revenue or whether such devices impact the number of persons who play the video poker machines. Consequently, if you would like to proceed to address the possibility of any regulation of HHR’s, I suggest that you proceed with great caution. I have discussed this matter with the Executive Director of the PJAL who advises that the association’s legal staff is evaluating the concerns expressed by the video poker industry and may soon disseminate information for the guidance of local governments.

Finally, I note that the horse racing industry strongly endorsed this legislation which passed the House by an 84-11 vote and was carried in the Senate by an 33-3 vote.

REQUEST FOR TAX EXEMPTION BY LASUCA and PROCESSORS, INC.
Items 3 and 4 of your Administrative/Finance Committee Agenda provide for discussion of two Industrial Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions. One is a request submitted by the Louisiana Sugar Cane Cooperative, Inc (“LASUCA”) and the other emanates from Processors, Inc., formerly Guidry’s Catfish. You will vote on the approvals at your regular meeting on October 4, 2022. The failure to act on either of the requests at this time will be deemed an approval. I will address each one disjunctively for your edification.

LASUCA:
The application of LASUCA was approved by the Board of Commerce and Industry of the Louisiana Board of Economic Development on August 24, 2022. With respect to this specific exemption request, I have secured various information from the Board of Commerce and Industry, SMEDA, and our Parish Assessor. Replicas of much of the materials have been provided to you in your agenda packet. All of the foregoing data is condensed for your easy reference as follows.

The exemption in question would apply to $2,890,844.00 for Building and Materials and $39,826,929.00 for machinery and equipment. According to data compiled by the Assessor’s Office, over the life of the exemption (10 years), the total exemption would be $2,038,880 relative to Parish Government assessments. Since the exemption is at the rate of 80%, the Parish will collect a total of $499,719 in ad valorem taxes over that ten-year period. No new direct jobs will be created by the proposed project; however, the company would be obligated to maintain its current job census which is 84 jobs with an annual payroll of $6,516,297.00. The job maintenance requirement is set forth in a CEA executed between the company and the La. Department of Economic Development. One Acadiana estimates that the total economic impact of this project will approximate $6,100,000.

According to LASUCA’s ITEP application, this is the fourth phase of a major renovation project which commenced in 2019. Indeed, you have approved prior ITEP applications for Phases 1, 2, and 3 of the total undertaking in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

The improvements related to this Phase 4 consist of a milling tandem which is necessary to increase the preparation and milling section of the plant in order to meet the need to process the additional sugar cane for which the mill has contracted. The tandem is capable of processing up to 13,000 tons of cane per day which will complement the existing tandem’s capacity of 14,000 tons of sugar cane per day. The capacity of the steam production section of the mill is being increased with the addition of two boilers in order to meet the steam demand of the preparation and milling section and processing section of the factory. This added steam should increase the capacity of this section from 14,000 tons of sugar cane per day to 22,500 tons of sugar cane per day. The bagasse storage addition is necessary to complement the existing bagasse storage area to maintain ample material to provide fuel for the two new boilers.

Processors, Inc.:
The application of Processors, Inc. was also approved by the Board of Commerce and Industry of the Louisiana Board of Economic Development on August 24, 2022. According to data I have secured from the Board of Commerce and Industry, SMEDA, and our Parish Assessor, the exemption in question would apply to $6,190,764.00 for Building and Materials and $670,933.00 for machinery and equipment. According to data compiled by the Assessor’s Office, over the life of the exemption (10 years), the total exemption would be $370,127.00 relative to Parish Government assessments. Since the exemption is at the rate of 80%, the Parish will collect a total of $92,532.00 in ad valorem taxes over that ten-year period. Seven (7) new direct jobs will be created by the proposed project, and, the company would be obligated to maintain its current job census of 27 jobs. The annual payroll of the new direct jobs would be $225,867.00 while the current 27 jobs provide an annual payroll of $1,517,732.00. The job maintenance requirement is likewise set forth in a CEA executed between the company and the La. Department of Economic Development. One Acadiana estimates that the total economic impact of this project will approximate $30,400,000.

Processors, Inc. sells catfish, shrimp, and various other seafood products. The receipt of fresh farm raised catfish in live haul trucks and block frozen gulf shrimp in refrigerated trucks facilitate the processing of the seafood products. The processing of fish and shrimp is onsite and includes sorting, grading, and sizing the products, batter/breading application of select catfish cuts and then blast freezing. The merchandise is then packaged and stored for food service or retail consumption.

The specific endeavors which serve as the bases for this application is the construction of a cold storage warehouse to store the seafood previously referenced. This benefits the company due to having an onsite cold storage facility instead of having to contract with a third party.

Factors to Consider:
You will recall that on April 7, 2020, the Council adopted Resolution Number 20-024-RS which set forth guidelines for the consideration of requests for participation in the Louisiana Tax Exemption Program. These include:
• Whether the applicant has complied with all of the guidelines of the State Board of Commerce and Industry and Louisiana Department of Economic Development;
• Total Economic Impact of the business;
• The total number of jobs which the company provides;
• Whether the firm is locally owned;
• The “type” of jobs created; i.e., full-time, part-time, career oriented;
• Emoluments of jobs which the company offers;
• Whether the exemption would create an unfair advantage for the company or an unfair disadvantage for other locally owned business;
• Uniqueness of the product manufactured or distributed by company; and,
• The terms and conditions of the cooperative endeavor agreement between the applicant and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.

I trust that the information set forth herein will be of benefit, and I will be happy to discuss this matter with you. Please note that I strongly advocate the vetting of each request for a tax exemption pursuant to all relevant factors as opposed to carte blanche approving or disapproving such requests. Each request should be evaluated against the criteria enunciated in Resolution 20-024-RS and any other data you deem relevant.

COASTAL LITIGATION
You have received the agenda for the special meeting at 4:15 P.M. on the day of your committee meeting. The first item on the agenda is the consideration of a resolution approving or rejecting the Parish’s participation in a partial settlement of complex litigation instituted several years ago by the Parishes of Plaquemines, Cameron, Jefferson, St. John the Baptist, Vermilion, and St. Bernard. The object of the suit is recompense for alleged damages to the Louisiana Coastal Zone supposedly caused by oil and gas exploration. St. Martin Parish is part of the Louisiana Coastal Zone as defined in the Louisiana Coastal Resources Management Act of 1978, La. R.S. 49:214.21, et seq.

Freeport-McMoRan and its subsidiaries have proposed a settlement of the claims against it in the aforementioned litigation. The “plaintiff parishes” have agreed to accept. However, all of the Parishes within the Coastal Zone are being requested to approve the agreement so as to forestall any further litigation although they are not a party plaintiff. These Parishes include Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. Martin, Iberia, and St. Mary.

Noteworthy is the fact that St. Martin Parish has no right to urge any independent litigation on this issue since we do not have an approved coastal management program. However, La. R.S. 49:214.36, presumptively, affords standing to file such litigation to the District Attorney for any parish without a plan. Bo Duhe has stated that he will not participate in any settlement, or file any suit, without the approval of any Parish within his jurisdiction irrespective of how one may apply La. R.S. 49:214.36 as regards the provisions thereof which supposedly grants standing to a District Attorney.

Also of import is the fact that the hereinafter described settlement sum offered by Freeport-McMoRan will be supposedly be paid REGARDLESS of what Parishes may or may not sign the agreement. Indeed, the State through DNR has already approved of the offer by Freeport-McMoRan. If a Parish does not sign, then its allocation of the settlement sum will presumably go to the state. Note that St. Martin’s allocation is minimal, 0.4%, since there is only one Parish site which exhibits any coastal damage which can be attributed to oil and gas operations.

The settlement funds will be administered by CPRA and can only be used to remediate coastal issues. In short, none of the funds can be used for general revenue purposes. Also, and because of the defined/limited use of the fund, Freeport-McMoRan can utilize the settlement funds for environmental credits. The settlement calls for the deposit of a total of $100 million dollars over a period of twenty years.
On August 22, 2022, I attended a conference in New Iberia which included District Attorney Bo Duhe, Assistant District Attorney Andy Shealy, Attorney Bernard Boudreaux (attorney advising Bo), the attorney for the plaintiffs, all of the Parish Presidents in the 16th JDC (Parishes of St. Martin, Iberia, and St. Mary), and all of the chair persons for the three parish councils in the district. Thereafter, on September 8, 2022, I met with the Parish President of Terrebonne Parish, Gordon Dove, and his attorney. Also meeting with us on that occasion were Council members Dean Leblanc, Byron Fuselier, and Chris Tauzin. We discussed the specifics of the litigation and received their comments on various aspects of this matter.

Finally, I have personally reviewed the settlement proposal and reflected on all of the information which has been imparted. Hence, I will endeavor to answer any questions which this matter may prompt.

The agenda packet for the special meeting reflects two resolutions on this issue. One reflects an approval to participate in the settlement while the other expresses a rejection of the opportunity to participate in the settlement. Both resolutions set forth pertinent parameters of the proposed settlement. Please take the time to read them since this is a very important matter.

You will note that the language of the second or alternative resolution (the one rejecting participation in the settlement) challenges the constitutional authority of any governmental unit placing itself in the stead of St. Martin Parish (or any other Parish for that matter) in the event the Council rejects the settlement proposition. In other words, the subject language calls into question whether another entity, governmental or otherwise, can constitutionally act in St. Martin Parish’s place relative to the coastal litigation.

Finally, there have been some discourse which propagates the notion the District Attorney Duhe is a proponent of the settlement in question, or coastal litigation in general. I have not detected such a position in my discourse with Mr. Duhe. In fact, he has explicitly stated that he views his role in this matter as simply presenting the facts to the three parish governing authorities in his judicial district for each to make its own decision. I would be remiss if I did not articulate that observation for your benefit notwithstanding the statutory dictates of La. R.S. 49:214.36.

RESOLUTION REGARDING WATER CONSOLIDATION
Also appearing on the agenda for your special meeting is an item which seeks the extension of the cessation date of Water Works District No. 4. The district will terminate in accordance with prior action of the Council which was taken by Ordinance on December 7, 2021, and by Resolution adopted on March 2, 2021, all in connection with the water consolidation plan. However, the plan implementation has again been delayed as a result of the application for funding through the water sector program. Thus, it will be necessary to extend the cessation date to accommodate the processing of our water sector application. I note again that such action was last taken on March 2, 2022, by the Council.

As regards our water sector application, I note that our application was submitted at the end of last month. We believe that our application is strong and the commitment St. Martin Parish has made, monetarily, will yield major dividends in the scoring of our application. As background information, I remind you of these remarks from my June report:

“The State has issued the guidelines for the Round 2 funding of the Water Sector Program. Applications will be received between July, 15, 2022, and August 31, 2022. It is anticipated that the State will have $450 million available for funding for water and sewer projects, with a maximum grant amount of $5,000,000 per individual project and a minimum match of 25%. If the application embraces a consolidation of water systems, then the maximum match is $5,000,000 PER SYSTEM! Round 1 of the program awarded $300 million for water and sewer projects. Consolidation is a high priority in the grading process as is the “shovel readiness” of the project. Moreover, the ability to provide a local match merits a high grade in the selection process. Thus, we should be in a position to present a potent application.

On June 16, 2022, I conferred with Todd Vincent of Sellers & Associates to guide us through the application process. This firm is also assisting the Parish in our consolidation efforts, and they have done substantial work in identifying the precise steps which we must adopt to confect a functionable consolidation. Of course, we have set aside a portion of our ARPA funds for the consolidation. Consequently, Sellers & Associates will be preparing an agreement relative to the administration of a prospective application for funding through the Water Sector Program. I again note that applications will be accepted between July 15, 2002, and August 31, 2022, with the awards being announced in late October or early November.”

JUVENILE DETENTION COSTS
In 2021, the Louisiana Legislature enacted legislation which established raised the age for juvenile offenders from seventeen years to eighteen years. Thus, any offender below the age of eighteen years at the time of the commission of a criminal offense must be handled through the juvenile courts. Prior to this time, the bench mark for juvenile offenses was seventeen years. Also noteworthy is that juvenile offenders cannot be incarcerated in a parish jail; thus, if ordered detained, the offender must be housed in juvenile detention facility.

This “raise the age” legislation, coupled with an unexplainable rise in juvenile offenses, have resulted in an increase in juvenile detentions. Unfortunately, there are few pre-adjudicative juvenile facilities in the State of Louisiana. Consequently, juveniles must be housed out of state at significant costs.

These issues are not problematical for just large communities. Major offenses involving juveniles who must be detained both before and after adjudication is a problem in St. Martin Parish and numerous other jurisdictions. Indeed, there are at least four St. Martin Parish juveniles who are currently being detained in out of state facilities. The costs range from $200 to $400 dollars per day. That expense must be does not include the transportation costs incurred to transport the juvenile to St. Martin Parish for court proceedings.

I am not convinced that the pre-adjudicative expenses are the sole responsibility of Parish Government. I have reached out to Guy Cormier, the Executive Director for the PJAL on this issue, and his staff will be researching this matter. Additionally, on August 17, 2022, at the request of Mr. Cormier, I attended a meeting of district attorneys, juvenile judges, and sheriffs from throughout the state to discuss these issues. Although we identified common problems, there was no consensus on a viable resolution.

I will keep all of you advised of the developments on this very pressing matter.

HAZARDOUS WASTE DAY
I repeat my post from last month relative to the annual Hazardous Waste Day:

“The Parish’s hazardous waste day is OCTOBER 8, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to noon. The event will be conducted at Parc Hardy in Breaux Bridge as opposed to the Public Safety Complex where we normally sponsor the project. I changed the location for two reasons. First, having the event at Parc Hardy will help us gauge whether a more centrally located area will attract more participants. Second, the current construction at the Public Safety Complex could possibly cause present obstacles relative to ingress and egress.

As customary, we will accommodate only St. Martin Parish residents. The items that will be collected include:
o Tires
o Alkaline Batteries
o Lithium Batteries
o Auto Batteries
o Electronics (computers, printers, cell phones, etc)
o Aerosol products
o Flammables
o Latex and Oil Based Paint
o Poison Liquids
o Poison Solids
o Motor Oil
o Fire Extinguishers
o Fluorescent Bulbs
o Mercury Thermometers
o Propane Tanks

A comprehensive list of items collected and those which will NOT be collected are set forth on a flyer which is currently being prepared for social media posting and public dissemination by traditional methods. It will be similar to the one used last year, and replicas will be distributed to you upon final publication.

Also, the Library Board for the Parish will again provide equipment for the shredding of documents and other paper materials.

The City of Breaux Bridge is likewise assisting the Parish in this endeavor as was the case with the last year’s hazardous collection event. Also, the Parish’s OEP are participating in the event with the Parish.”

I attach a replica of the referenced flyer which is currently being circulated in the Parish promoting this event.

HOME ELEVATION PROGRAM
At your regular meeting, Gary O’Neal with C.H. Fenstermaker appeared and discussed the Home Elevation feature of the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. His presentation included a discussion of the GIS website which identifies by Council District all locations which might possibly qualify for assistance via the program. Also, he confirmed that he and members of his firm would hold meeting throughout the Parish to address questions on a one-on-one basis. The tentative schedule for these informational meetings is:
October 5, 2022: Council Chambers at 5:30 P.M.
October 6, 2022: Cecilia Civic Center at 5:30 P.M.
October 7, 2022: Belle River Recreational Center at 11:00 A.M. (Tentative)

By the time you receive this report, letters will have been mailed to all addresses which FEMA has identified as qualifying for the Home Elevation program.

Out of an abundance of caution, I quote from my previous report:

“On August 11, 2022, I conferred with Gary O’Neal with C.H. Fenstemaker. Mr. O’Neal is serving at the Parish’s Grant Manager regarding several FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs of which the Parish is availing itself. One is the home elevation program for which the applications will soon commence. FEMA is expected to be issuing an official Notice of Funding Opportunity (“NOFO”) within the next several weeks. In connection therewith, Mr. O’Neal has created a GIS Product for the Parish of St. Martin. Utilizing FEMA’s list of Repetitive Loss and Severe Repetitive Loss (RL/SRL) Properties, he has plotted the location of all homes eligible for participation in elevation and acquisition grant programs through FEMA. The product will soon be live and ready for viewing.

Each Council District is color coded and each dot thereon represents a property within the Parish and District. By zooming in and clicking on the dot, you can access the latitude/longitude and the structure’s address. The names of the homeowners and other claim-related information is not included to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

Upon my request, Mr. O’Neal will be appearing at the September regular meeting of the Council to discuss this new program and the home elevation program in general. To encourage greater participation, Mr. O’Neal has agreed to appear at the Cecilia Civic Center to explain the program and answer any questions the public may have regarding the home elevation program and the application process associated therewith. In the last few years, this informational meeting has been held at the council chambers; however, we believe a different location may encourage greater attendance and participation in the program.”

ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FOR FY-2023
For the year 2023, have budgeted 4.5 million dollars for road reconstruction in Sales Tax District 1 and 6.7 million dollars in Road District 2. Also, I have requested that Chairman Tauzin appoint a committee to work with the Administration in selecting the specific roads to be addressed in 2023. Frankly, I see no need for another “reevaluation” since we have the “scoring” data from the 2020 road improvement project which is still applicable. Furthermore, I would like to utilize Sellers & Associates as the engineers for the upcoming road projects. As such, I will be requesting in due course that you approve their contract, noting that the “bed and butter” of this firm is road construction. Inexplicably, they have not in the past been considered by us for such projects.

ITEMS 2, 3, AND 4 OF PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE AGENDA
These items address annual resolutions which are adopted by the Council. I have prepared for your review proposed resolutions regarding these matters. I particularly request that you take an opportunity to review Summary No.068-RS which outlines our capital outlay request for the State’s FY 2023-24. Many of the projects listed on the attached were approved in this year’s Capital Outlay awards, but were not funded, having been placed in lower priority classifications. It is necessary that such projects be again requested and usually they will receive higher priority rankings or funding. Of course, I rely greatly upon the guidance of Minvielle & Associates, our consultant on these grants.

The resolution (Summary No. 069-RS) dealing with our request for state highway reconstruction is, frankly, a “wish list” whose weight/impact is questionable. Moreover, this resolution should be reviewed in conjunction with my remarks from last month:

“As all of us are acutely aware, the condition of the state roads in our Parish warrants a great deal of attention. Indeed, as was crystallized during the renewal process for the road tax for Sales Tax District No. 1, many of the Parish citizens believe, INCORRECTLY, that state roads can legally be repaired by the Parish. In any regard, I have been advised that on a per region basis, DOTD will confer with the legislators in each DOTD District for purposes of identifying each state road that is a priority for repairs. I have recently discussed this “plan” with various members of our legislative delegation, and I have spoken with the District 3 Administrator/Director. The one constant which has permeated my discourse is that the “priority list” of DOTD is extremely dynamic due to funding issues. Nonetheless, I have been able to establish the various state roads which are likely to be subject to repairs in this state fiscal year as well as next year. I will be happy to meet with each of you individually and discuss what I have learned. I do not wish to publicly disclose any list at this juncture since no official and/or final DOTD announcement or final decision has yet been made. I strongly believe that once DOTD has briefed each interested legislator, a final, final reliable list will be published. District 3 will be conducting its meetings this coming week.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is my understanding that in the upcoming Autumn, DOTD will be letting for repairs to Prairie Highway (La. Highway 353). That project will embrace the entire highway from its intersection with Cypress Island Extension to Louisiana Highway 94 in Lafayette Parish. Moreover, Cypress Island Extension with likewise be improved. Both of these projects are through the MPO which secured funding via the Federal Payment Preservation Program with the Prairie Highway project match being absorbed by DOTD and the Cypress Island Extension match being Parish funds pursuant to an agreement executed in March 2018.

I would be remiss if I did not again observe that the money previous allocated for all of the projected projects referenced herein may not be sufficient to cover all of the previously budgeted expenses because of increased construction costs in today’s climate. Regardless, I will closely monitor these matters and keep you informed. Again, I am willing to confer with each of you at your convenience to further review this matter. Also, I remind you that the “preliminary” priority list at this point in time is not cast in stone; thus, great care must be taken not to mislead the public. I do note, however, that it is being circulated among our legislative delegation.”

Many of our local legislative delegation has informally advised that there may be additional funds available for direct appropriations requiring no local match, unlike capital outlay awards. I am in the process of developing a list of potential needs/projects which may be proper for such appropriations. Your input is, of course, invited and appreciated.

FY 2023 BUDGET PREPARATIONS
The FY 2023 Budget is almost complete. The final version for your review will be submitted at your October regular meeting, and I remain prepared to confer with any of you to answer or explain any line item about which you may have any questions or problems. Final adoption will be requested at your December Regular meeting in order to afford you ample opportunity to review and discuss the budget.

TAX COLLECTIONS
In my August report, I advised that the that the latest monthly tax reports “reflect a mixture of good news and bad news.” This month, the news is totally positive. As such, I offer the following comparative summary:
A. Net Collections for Sales Tax District #1:
January-August 2022 Net Collections: $2,701,033.46
January-August 2021 Net Collections: $2,466,002.71
January-August 2020 Net Collections: $1,957,094.19

Average 2022 8-Month Net Collections: $337,629.18
Average 2021 8-Month Net Collections: $308,250.34
Average 2020 8-Month Net Collections: $244,636.76

B. Net Collections for Sales Tax District #2:
January-August 2022 Net Collections: $1,060,496.89
January-August 2021 Net Collections: $839,531.79
January-August 2020 Net Collections: $728,525.44

Average 2022 8-Month Net Collections: $132,562.11
Average 2021 8-Month Net Collections: $104,941.73
Average 2020 7-Month Net Collections: $91,065.68

The foregoing reflects that the net amounts collected in January-August 2022 in both districts exceed the average monthly net collections in both 2021 and 2020 for the eight-month time period of January-August. As regards Sales Tax District No. 1, the January-August 2022 AVERAGE monthly collections are $29,378.84 GREATER than the monthly average collected in January-August 2021. In Sales Tax District #2, the January-August 2022 average monthly collections were $27,620.38 GREATER than the average of the collections for January-August 2021.

In July 2022, the net collections for District No. 1 were $294,031.94 which were LESS than the $390,518.61 collected in 2021 and the $303,398.31 received in 2020. However, for August 2022, the net monthly collections totaled $437,998.88; conversely, the August net collections for 2021 and 2020 were, respectively, $316,890.07 and $258,425.50. These substantial increase in the monthly collections may be attributable to many factors; nonetheless August 2022 reflects the largest monthly sum collected based on data I have examined going back to FY 2013.

In District No. 2, the August 2022 net collections were $149,402.31 contrasted to August net collections of $101,112.79 and $75,067.84 in 2020 and 2021 respectively. This is the largest monthly collections in District No. 2 since January 2015. While an analysis of tax receipts simply on a per month basis can be misleading, yearly comparisons offer a better picture of the strength of sale tax collections. As noted in the above comparative summaries, as well as the following contrasts in collections, our sales tax thus far appear to be trending upward.

In connection with the foregoing, I have additionally examined and compared the average of the first eight months of collections for 2022 with the average monthly collections for the entire 12 months in 2021 and 2020. This comparative analysis reflects for Sales Tax District #1:
2022 Average 8-month Collections: $337,629.18
2021 Average 12-month Collections: $309,495.52
2020 Average 12-month Collections: $252,006.17

As regards, Sales Tax District #2, the comparison is:
2022 Average 8-month Collections: $132,562.18
2021 Average 12-month Collections: $112,363.68
2020 Average 12-month Collections: $95,507.00

Also, as I noted in my previous monthly reports, the second half of the year generally reflects greater collections than the first half although the amounts do not appear to be significant.

The hotel/motel tax collections for January-August 2022 were $208,345.05 compared to 2021 collections of $177,604.82 during those eight months. The January-August collections were $30,740.23 greater that the first eight months in 2021. Noteworthy is that the average monthly collections for all of 2021 were $26,404.71 while the average collection thus far this year is almost identical at $26,043.13. I repeat my remarks from last month to the effect that, “The upcoming fall season hopefully will result in an increase in our hotel/motel tax collections in view of the fall festivals in our area.”

Video Poker revenue for January-August 2022 was $1,506,631.06. Last year, our collections in that time frame were $1,347,081.32. Furthermore, the total collections for all of 2021 were $2,063,827.88, and for all of 2020 the collections were $1,524,015.01. It appears that this gaming revenue continues on an upward trend which impels me to again note that our 2021 total collections were 35.62% greater than 2020. In the next four months, it will be interesting to gauge the impact of Senate Bill 16 which requires that payments for video poker collections be based upon ACTUAL receipts and not estimated receipts.