A constitutional amendment before voters Tuesday would let local governments contract with for-profit companies to collect delinquent property taxes — a measure that would greatly benefit one politically connected New Orleans company and would tack fees onto a property owner’s past-due bills.

Voters statewide will consider Amendment No. 3, which opens the market to any company doing that work. It was written by the nonprofit Louisiana Municipal Association and is being supported by the organization’s new political action committee, Preserve Property Fairness.

Many cities and parishes already hire contractors for such work, but a recent court decision has called this legal arrangement into question. The amendment would make clear that such business deals are allowed. It would permit a contractor’s fee up of up to 10 percent, though that figure could change.

This story was originally published in The Lens, an independent, nonprofit newsroom serving New Orleans. Continue reading full story here.