Reports › Economic Development and Subsidies
Analysis of government policies, finance, management, and administration
In Convention Center Bill Highlights Need to Rethink Local Taxation, BGR addresses a bill that would grant taxing authority to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s economic development district. The release calls for a comprehensive re-evaluation of Orleans Parish taxes, with an eye toward aligning tax revenues with the city’s most pressing needs.
Following the city’s announcement that it will begin a fourth Request for Proposals process to redevelop the former World Trade Center building, BGR calls for a new approach: selling the building to the highest bidder.
In 3 Visions for 2 Canal Street: The Proposals to Redevelop the Former World Trade Center Site, BGR summarizes and compares the three responses to the city’s request for proposals to redevelop this important public property.
In this release, BGR examines a proposal to impose what amounts to a new hotel tax.
In On the Ballot: November 6, 2012, BGR examines three proposed constitutional amendments, two propositions pertaining to multiple parishes in the New Orleans area, a proposed change to the City of New Orleans charter and two local tax propositions.
In On the Ballot: Local and State Propositions, October and November 2011, BGR examines charter amendments in Jefferson and Orleans parishes, tax propositions in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany parishes, and six amendments to the state constitution.
The Bureau of Governmental Research made presentations before the New Orleans Tax Fairness Commission on February 3, 2011 and February 23, 2011.
The first presentation, Taxation in New Orleans, examines the City’s tax picture, with particular emphasis on property taxes. Read it here.
The second presentation, The Industrial Development Board and PILOT Subsidies, provides information on the Industrial Development Board of New Orleans and the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) subsidies that it awards to developments. Read it here.
In this report entitled In the Private Interest: A Review of the Lake Forest Plaza TIF Proposal, BGR analyzes a tax increment financing (TIF) proposal by the owners of the former mall site to use public funds to clear up debts on the site and redevelop it.
Feb 4, 2009
On Feb. 3, BGR sent a letter to Councilman Arnold Fielkow, Chairman of City Council’s Special Projects and Economic Development Committee, on the use and operation of the city’s Economic Development Fund. The letter recommends that the city abandon the current practice of directing grants to a handful of individual business ventures or nonprofit activities. Instead, it urges the city to use the EDF funds to fund economic development functions and initiatives that benefit multiple businesses.
Look Before You Leap: Tax Increment Financing in Jefferson Parish provides an overview of tax increment financing (TIF) and describes four TIF districts proposed in Jefferson Parish. It also reviews the perceived benefits of TIF, as well as the pitfalls and potential abuses of the mechanism. It concludes with recommendations concerning the future use of TIF in Jefferson Parish.
Mar 12, 2008
The City of New Orleans is working on a draft policy governing tax increment financing. BGR submitted comments on the February 2008 draft at the request of the City Council’s Special Development Projects and Economic Development Committee. The letter recommends that the City look to San Antonio’s TIF policy for guidance. In November, BGR submitted a letter commenting on a City TIF policy report.
Sep 17, 2007
In the face of mounting developer requests for subsidies, this release calls for the City of New Orleans and the Industrial Development Board of New Orleans to stop approving subsidies until they have implemented promised policies and procedures.
May 15, 2007
In Public Investment, Private Developers: How Louisiana Deployed Its GO Zone Housing Tax Credits, BGR analyzes the unit production and geographic distribution of developments awarded $1.7 billion worth of Gulf Opportunity Zone Housing Tax Credits. In addition, it analyzes the financing and costs of projects that received tax credit awards in December 2006. Developments in that group were eligible to “piggy-back” the tax credits with loans of federal Community Development Block Grant funds made available through a Louisiana Recovery Authority program.
May 3, 2007
In a follow-up to Protecting New Orleans’ Tax Base: Which PILOTs Should Fly? BGR raises concerns about requests for local property tax subsidies to housing developments that have already received subsidies through state and federal programs.
Mar 12, 2007
In Protecting New Orleans’ Tax Base: Which PILOTs Should Fly? BGR addresses New Orleans’ system for handling property tax subsidies through the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) mechanism. This report comes at a time when requests for such subsidies are increasing.
Aug 24, 2005
The Times-Picayune carried an Op-Ed piece by BGR’s President Janet Howard on the issue of public subsidies for high-end condominiums
Jan 26, 2005
The New Orleans Saints and the State of Louisiana are in the midst of negotiations that will determine whether the Saints remain in New Orleans. Sports subsidies present communities with difficult political and financial decisions. In this report, BGR seeks to provide policymakers and the public with background information relevant to current negotiations with the Saints.
Nov 22, 2004
To provide citizens and government with a better understanding of their investment, BGR presents in this report an overview of economic development expenditures in New Orleans.
Mar 25, 2004
In a ground-breaking report, BGR tests the City’s claims of economic benefits in the World Trade Center hotel conversion. The report digs deep beneath the surface to unearth the fiscal imprudence of the lease deal for the City.
Apr 14, 2003
Jan 18, 2002
On February 2, 2002, the voters of New Orleans will consider a proposition to authorize the extension of the property tax millage for the New Orleans Business and Industrial District (“NOB&ID” or the “District”).