Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Does anybody remember the Ho-Zone?

They've been slowly bringing the same concept back piece by piece. The latest effort is centered in what we've dubbed "Jaegerton" on our Oligarch's Map of Downtown. The way things are going lately, they'll probably get their way this time.  But here, at least, is a negative review from BGR.

One fact of note here I wasn't aware of. The mayor isn't supporting this plan. (At least not openly.)
Although the mayor's office opposes the plan, the BGR report notes the project and the infrastructure work would exceed the convention center's $222 million in reserves. "If that is not enough, they said they would use the HB 1056 taxing authority."

BGR was also critical of using tax increment financing to pay for Trade District work, which the bill would permit. The authority has not said it intends to pursue a TIF deal, which typically relies on a sales tax to subsidize private development.

In the report, BGR said it is not taking a stance on the merits of the Trade District or on whether the convention center board should invest public resources in the project. But in repeating a call made in its November 2015 review of New Orleans' tax structure, "The $1 Billion Question," the bureau suggests an assessment and prioritization of the city's various levies is needed.
Anyway, even though they're in the right this time, BGR's stance is predictable. They're pretty much going to come out against any new taxing plan until we start talking about comprehensive municipal finance reform.. or at least until they get bored with the notion. I'm not opposed to looking at a big reform package, but in the meantime we still have to do stuff. Just not this particular thing. 

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