The City of New Orleans is facing a major problem– how to pay for two consent decrees and shore up the millions due to the firefighter’s pension fund while keeping the books balanced. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is hoping to create new revenues by passing three pieces of legislation through Baton Rouge this session to solve the problem. By raising taxes on cigarettes, hotels and property, the Mayor hopes to make up the $34 to $49 million needed to pay for improvements to the Orleans Parish Prison, the New Orleans Police Department and satisfy the debts owed to the firefighter’s pension fund.
How do you think the City should pay for the consent decrees? Are you willing to pay more taxes? In many cities, new taxes help fund Participatory Budgeting programs to give residents a sense of ownership over the tax dollars they pay. Would you be more supportive of the Mayor’s plan if you could control some of the new revenues?