September 19, 2019 10:00 AM
City Council Chamber
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NEW ORLEANS - At today's regular meeting, the City Council approved two measures directing further study of a new Veterans Wellness Facility on Mirabeau Avenue, adopted a resolution requesting a comprehensive review of all current and former entities receiving property tax exemptions, established the regular Council Meeting and City Government holiday schedules for 2020, and welcomed the Eastbank Little League world championship teams to congratulate them on their phenomenal seasons.
Council Requests Comprehensive Review of Property Tax Exemptions
The Council adopted a resolution requesting the New Orleans Assessor's Office to execute a comprehensive review of all current and former entities receiving property tax exemptions as a result of the ITE program. Resolution R-19-363 asks the Assessor's Office to compile all documentation and provide a formal report to the Council by March 31, 2020. Additionally, it requests annual reviews on exemption statuses be presented to the Council.
The resolution represents continued efforts by the Council and President Helena Moreno to account for the tax status of properties classified as exempt under the Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP). Councilmember Moreno and Together New Orleans have been unearthing information indicating that many properties currently considered "exempt" are, in fact, no longer exempt - going many years back in some cases. These exemptions excuse largely major corporations from paying millions in property taxes.
"Our city deserves greater oversight over industrial tax exemptions, especially at a time when our citizens are facing rocketing property tax assessments," said Council President Moreno. "In the spirit of accountability and fairness, I've authored Resolution R-19-363 urging the Assessor's Office to do an inventory of all tax incentive projects in Orleans Parish as well as to submit annual reports to the Council on these types of projects. Accountability ensures all taxpayers, including major corporations, are paying their fair share."
Council Vice President Moreno (right) and President Williams (left) discussing the approved ITEP resolution during today's meeting
The Council welcomed Coach Scott Frazier and the Eastbank Little League teams to congratulate them on their recent 2019 World Championship wins. Under the direction of Manager Scott Frazier and Assistant Coaches Donald Abadie and Kevin Johnson, the boys' baseball team won the Little League World Championship on Sunday, August 25 when they defeated the country of Curacao 8-0.
The Council also recognized the teams for their upcoming participation in 2020 the Krewe of Bacchus parade. On August 30, District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett announced that the League World Series Championship Team and the Eastbank girls World Series Finalists will ride on a special float in the Krewe of Bacchus parade on Sunday, February 23. Clark Brennan, Captain of the Krewe of Bacchus, is working with Barry Kern who will utilize cutting edge laser technology to create a unique float for the teams.
"It's my great honor to recognize the Eastbank boys and girls Little League teams today for their tremendous accomplishments during the season and at the Little League World Series," said Councilmember Brossett. "These young athletes are truly incredible role models, and they have made the entire State of Louisiana proud."
Coaches and players from the Eastbank Little League teams with members of the Council during today's meeting
Motions Approved Supporting Further Study of New Veterans Wellness Facility
The Council approved two motions that create a new definition within the City's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) and direct the City Planning Commission (CPC) to consider a Conditional Use for a proposed Veterans Wellness Facility on Mirabeau Avenue.
Motion M-19-364 directs the City Planning Commission (CPC) to consider creating a new use definition for a "Veterans Wellness Facility," as a facility owned or controlled by a governmental or charitable institution dedicated to veterans affairs, that provides holistic wellness services, including outpatient medical treatment, targeted primarily to military veterans and secondarily to members of the surrounding community. Motion M-19-365 directs the CPC to conduct a public hearing to consider a Conditional Use for a Veterans Wellness Facility on behalf of Bastion Community of Resilience in the Third Municipal District at 1801-1839 Mirabeau Avenue.
The Council looks forward to ongoing discussion and engagement with members of the community to ensure the proposed zoning change has a positive impact on both those who utilize its services and residents in the surrounding neighborhoods.
2020 Regular Meeting Schedule and City Holidays Confirmed
The Council established the regular Council Meeting and City Government holiday schedules for the Year 2020. To view the full regular meeting schedule for the coming year, click here. For the approved list of holidays, click here.