New Orleans property tax hike advances

A proposed tax hike for New Orleans property owners zipped through a state Senate committee Thursday.

State Rep. Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, presented House Bill 111 to the Senate Finance Committee and securred advancement of the legislation within five minutes. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

HB111 aims to increase two separate property tax rates for police and fire protection in New Orleans. Each rate would jump from five mills to 10 mills, increasing the city’s revenue by $31.6 million initially.

Legislative approval would be the first step in a long process for the proposal. The bill is a constitutional amendment that would go before voters in November. If voters embrace the amendment, the City Council then would need to decide whether to put it before New Orleans voters.