New Orleans City Officials Withdraw Controversial Nonprofit Tax Proposal
Monday, December 19, 2011
Posted by: Matt Mullenix
The House Municipal Committee met Friday, December 16, to hear an update on HR 86, a study resolution introduced by Representative Walt Leger (District 91) in the 2011 Regular Session as a substitute for three proposed constitutional amendments seeking changes to the property tax exemption of New Orleans nonprofits.
At the Friday hearing, New Orleans city officials testified that they will not pursue this effort further and have no intention of offering legislation regarding the exemption in the next session.
Originally envisioned as a way to increase revenue for the City of New Orleans, the withdrawn legislation mirrors efforts by other major municipalities as they struggle to maintain public infrastructure during a national financial crisis.
According to a coalition of New Orleans nonprofits, including the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, the proposed changes would not have significantly improved the city's financial position and would weaken or eliminate city residents' access to essential charitable services.
LANO President & CEO Ann S. Williamson praised the city's Friday announcement. "We thank city officials and Representative Leger for wisely and generously deciding not to pursue legislation that would have undermined local nonprofits' ability to provide needed services," she said.
In light of the real financial struggles facing public and private sectors alike, Williamson pledged LANO's support and cooperation with the City of New Orleans "to work together toward solutions that meet vital citizen needs amidst a shared fiscal crisis."
As required by HR 86, a final report will be submitted to the Committee in February 2012. LANO will provide input for that report with data from the recent New Orleans Nonprofit Property Tax Exemption Survey and other sources.