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I-Bowl funding bill passes legislature

State Representative Roy Burrell holds up a ceremonial Duck Commander Independence Bowl football during the legislative session discussion of HB 1191 Wednesday.

The new hotel-motel tax increase that would further fund local tourism and sports organizations, such as the Independence Bowl, made it to the goal line Wednesday.

While holding up a ceremonial Independence Bowl football on the House floor, State Representative Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport, concurred the Senate amendment on House Bill 1191 to reduce the amount of the hotel/motel occupational tax from the proposed 2.5 percent to 2 percent.

After being denied twice before in the legislature, the tax increase will be used to put more funding towards the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Arkla Regional Air Service Alliance, and the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.

“I know there is some controversy surrounding the new sponsorship of this important economic development project, but my primary job is to provide the mature leadership to look beyond such issues and deliver for all of the people of our region”, Burrell said.

HB 1191, authored by Rep. Burrell and supported by the Northwest Louisiana Delegation, will now go before a public vote of Bossier and Caddo Parishes this November.

If HB 1191 is passed by the voters, it should provide approximately $2 million to support the successful future of the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.

The bill was originally carried last session by State Representative Henry Burns, R-Haughton, but failed. Burns argued the increase in funding would allow the bowl to attract more competitive teams which would boost attendance and visitors to the area.

He applauded the effort of Burrell and the Northwest Louisiana Ddelegation’s efforts this term.

“This will help us sustain the Independence Bowl which has become a tradition for northwest Louisiana,” Burns previously told the Press-Tribune. “We had the right person carry the bill this time and harmonious support between the groups affected and the legislators in Baton Rouge.”

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