On the Ballot

Tax propositions await voters in New Orleans, St. Tammany Parish on Saturday

By Staff Report

Source: The Times-Picayune | NOLA.com

April 29, 2023

New Orleans voters will decide the fate Saturday of a tax proposition that would nearly double the tax collected by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The tax call in New Orleans highlights an otherwise slim ballot across the metro area. City voters will also decide the runoff for a criminal court judge and a handful of small, neighborhood-specific tax propositions.

In St. Tammany Parish, meanwhile, voters will decide whether to renew the property tax that funds much of the St. Tammany Coroner’s Office. And voters in Covington will decide the runoff for the City Council’s District D post.

There is also a tax renewal for public schools in St. John the Baptist Parish and a property tax proposition in Plaquemines Parish for hospital services.

Polls across the region open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Orleans Parish tax
The sheriff’s tax in New Orleans has generated the most interest in this election cycle.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking for a 5.5-mill tax. The proposed levy would almost double the existing 2.8-milll tax and generate nearly $12 million more annually for the office.

Sheriff Susan Hutson has made numerous appearances at public events in recent weeks to pitch the tax proposal. Hutson has said the additional money is needed for pay raises and to comply with the city’s federal consent decree, but other city officials have criticized the proposal for being too vague on how all the money would be spent. The nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research also noted that in its opposition to the proposition.

St. Tammany tax
In St. Tammany, Coroner Charles Preston is seeking to extend a 3.1-mill tax to generate $7.8 million annually. Preston has said the renewal is needed to help cover his office’s functions, which range from death investigations to DNA analysis to sexual trauma examinations. But the renewal has run into some opposition, with Parish President Mike Cooper saying Preston is asking for more than his office needs.

Orleans and St. Tammany each have a single runoff on the ballot.

In the runoff for the Division A judgeship at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, Simone Levine faces Leon Roché II. Levine and Roché rose to the top of a three-candidate field in the March 25 primary. Both are Democrats.

And in Covington, Republicans Jimmy Inman and Cody Ludwig will meet in the runoff for the District D seat on the City Council. Inman and Ludwig, the incumbent, ran 1-2 in a four-candidate primary.

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