Plans for an additional quarter -cent sales tax in the French Quarter to finance additional police services won approval in principle Thursday from the New Orleans City Council.
The council, sitting as the board of the newly created French Quarter Economic Development District, announced its intention to move forward with the plan with a unanimous vote Thursday. The board will have another vote to put the measure on the Oct. 24 ballot.
The sales tax is expected to bring in about $2 million a year that would be combined with money from hospitality groups and the city’s general fund.
That money would be used to keep State Police patrols in the Quarter long term, alongside a variety of other measures that have emerged in recent months to enhance police presence in the city’s premier tourist district.
Those include the civilian NOLA Patrol, off-duty New Orleans police patrols funded by Bourbon Street bars and a three-person patrol bankrolled by former trash mogul Sidney Torres IV.
The efforts all have come in the wake of high-profile violent crimes in the Quarter that fueled panic over public safety last year.
Many residents and business leaders have said the NOPD does not have enough officers on the streets to deal quickly with crimes in the Quarter and elsewhere in the city.
Follow Jeff Adelson on Twitter, @jadelson.