Bass Pro in Denham Springs pays off TIF bonds 16 years early

The tax increment financing bonds for the Bass Pro Shops location in Denham Springs and the surrounding development have been paid off 16 years early. 

In effect, the pledge of certain sales taxes by the city of Denham Springs, Livingston Parish Law Enforcement District, Livingston Parish School Board, Livingston Parish Council, Livingston Parish Gravity Drainage District #1 and the state of Louisiana ends. 

Taxes will go back to those entities rather than the Denham Springs Economic Development District, the TIF district that houses Bass Pro. 

On top of sales taxes, the entities will now also benefit from the development beginning to pay property taxes in 2022, says Jeff Taylor, Livingston Parish assessor. DSEDD businesses have been paying taxes on inventory, but not on their buildings and land. 

Anytime Livingston gets taxes from an industrial or commercial development, Taylor says, it’s good news, as the parish is heavily residential and millages mostly fall on homeowners. 

“We’re excited it’ll be added to our property tax rolls,” Taylor says, “and for those entities to benefit.”

Sales taxes from businesses in the area, including Bass Pro, Sam’s, and a number of restaurants were used to pay off the DSEDD’s bonds.

Because the district around the outdoors retailer has done well, advance payments on bonds were made and paid off Oct. 1, says Sheri Morris, managing partner at Daigle Fisse and Kessenich, which serves as general counsel to the Denham Springs Economic Development Corporation.

The maturity date for the bonds was originally January 2037. Morris credited DSEDD’s financial consultants with getting the bonds paid off early. They were able to refund the bonds to lower interest rates, she says, and the number of businesses in the district have continuously grown and done well. 

This was the intent of creating the TIF district in the first place, Taylor says, and the parish made Bass Pro the anchor, hoping it would attract more development. 

Bass Pro, which opened in 2008, will continue leasing the property from the Denham Springs Economic Development Corporation, who leases it from the landowner, DSEDD. 

The bonds for the district have been on pace to be retired by 2022 since 2011

“We were hoping this would happen,” Taylor says. “Now instead of us waiting another 16 years to start reaping sales and property taxes, we’re doing it early. We’re excited about it.”