In The News › Council OK’s Saturday meeting to raise taxes

Dec 8, 2010

Source: Fox 8

Filed under: Government Finance, Orleans Parish, Taxation & Assessments

Council OK’s Saturday meeting to raise taxes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
By Rob Masson
Fox 8

The New Orleans city council today took a procedural step toward approving new taxes less than a week after most thought the city’s budget was settled.

But one council member says it’s an unnecessary increase.

Just one week after most thought the city’s 2011 spending plan was a done deal the mayor says not so.

“We can no longer kick the can down the road or pass the buck,” Mayor Landrieu said to the city council.

Landrieu was seeking council approval of a rare Saturday meeting to push a just approved property tax increase from 6.74 to 7.74 mills. The mayor said last week’s budget deal wasn’t final.

“The council and I have unfinished business…we now have all the information we need to move forward,” Landrieu said.

But not everyone was convinced.

Linda Usdin with the New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance says there hasn’t been as much public involvement as the organization would like.

The new plan calls for an increase in sanitation fees from $22 to $24 a month for the average homeowner.

Only one council member voted against the special meeting to consider the new taxes.

“It was frankly with sadness that I cast the lone vote against a tax increase. There are two million cuts that we could have done or delayed programs or cut some of the PR programs, Head says.

The Landrieu administration says there’s good reason for the increases.

“They had put five million dollars for a city light bill on the side and the mayor was still negotiating a sanitation contract with Richards,” Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin said.

The mayor is also promising to cut property tax loopholes and step up efforts to collect sales taxes.

“No one ever said this was going to be easy,” Landrieu said.

The debate continues when the council meets again this Saturday.

Mayor Landrieu says his spending plan includes two mills dedicated to NORD, which should provide over $5 million to recreation. The Bureau of Governmental research says while the Saturday meeting is unusual, it’s not taking a position on the tax increases.

Dec 8, 2010

Source: Fox 8

Filed under: Government Finance, Orleans Parish, Taxation & Assessments

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