Orleans Parish Assessor offers lifeline to struggling businesses

Orleans Parish Assessor offers lifeline to struggling businesses
Orleans Parish Assessor offers lifeline to struggling businesses Photo credit Getty Images: designer491

Called a once in a lifetime opportunity, Orleans Parish Assessor Errol Williams is cutting property tax assessments for hotels, retailers, restaurants, and on commercial properties.

According to the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate some of the biggest recipients of the Assessor’s largest tax cut could be the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street, the Sheraton Hotel just across the street, the Hilton Riverside and Harrah’s Casino and Hotel.

The paper reports these properties could see a $1.5 to $2.5 million drop in the tax responsibilities.

The City Council still has to approve the move.  But the cut in valuations ranges anywhere from 57% for hotels down to 5% for supermarkets, pharmacies and warehouse.

In all, close to 10,000 properties are seeing a $300 million drop in valuations.

This represents a 25% cut.

At the same time residential property valuations are going up by 8%. That translate into a rise of $193 million.

For the City, Commercial property owners will pay $42 million less over all while residential property owners will shoulder $30 million more in property taxes.

Assessor William made the decision on the tax break due to the unprecedented drop in tourism and business faced by the hospitality industry.

"Until tourism comes back to New Orleans, these hotels are going to struggle and the restaurants, some of them are not coming back at all," Williams explains. "Rather than sit back and do nothing, we decided to study it and see what we could do, so they could sustain the period of being in the red."

Property taxes make up 45% of the City’s budget, including police, fire, schools, and the Audubon Nature Institute and parks and recreation.