Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taxing district to nowhere?

There's some good news and some bad news about the mayor's latest move at the legislature. The good news is they're asking for permission to do something New Orleans residents have been clamoring for for years. They're asking if the city can keep all of the revenue generated by local sales and hotel/motel taxes.
Plans for the proposed riverfront tax district have not been made public until now. Members of the New Orleans legislative delegation know little or nothing about it.

Here’s how the taxing district would work: If the World Trade Center becomes a hotel as planned, the city would collect the entire 9 percent sales tax on retail purchases — under current law, 4 percent goes to the state treasury — and all of the average 16.44 percent hotel/motel tax. Under current law, the city would have to share that future tax revenue with the convention center, the Orleans Parish School Board, the Regional Transit Authority, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation and the Louisiana Superdome.
The bad news is there are no hotels or retailers currently within the proposed district. (If I'm reading this correctly, anyway. The boundaries are not defined here.)  If passed, the city will be awarded 100 percent of zero dollars worth of tax revenue... for the time being, anyway.

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