Your recent article about property taxes going up once again in many areas of New Orleans, including my neighborhood of Bywater, also states that there is approximately $7 billion in taxable property in New Orleans and that roughly $2.7 billion is exempt.
How could it possibly be that more than one-third of all property in New Orleans receives city services but pays nothing for those services? Property taxes pay for our police department, fire department, roads, sidewalks, city government, etc. I can understand that government-owned property like parks, city hall, police stations, etc. would not have to pay property taxes, but what percentage of the property in question falls under those designations?
How much of the property is owned by "nonprofits" that receive rent or income from residential or commercial property but yet pay no taxes because the entity is a "nonprofit"? These "nonprofits" expect police and fire departments to respond to their calls. They drive on city streets that are lighted at night. In short, they receive city services but pay nothing for them.
I cannot believe that our mayor, City Council and Legislature have allowed this to happen. Including these "nonprofits" on the tax rolls would provide more money for the city and allow those of us who are paying for the share of the "nonprofits" to perhaps have our taxes lowered. I have been renting out homes in Bywater for many years and have tried to keep my rental rates affordable. Yet every time the city raises my property taxes, I have to pass these increases on to my renters in order to have funds to maintain the property, pay the property taxes and the elevated insurance rates. The bottom line is that not only homeowners but renters as well have to pay to cover city services that are presently being provided for free to "nonprofits." It seems to me that it is time to end this foolishness and rewrite our laws governing property taxes.
John W. Andrews
housing restoration contractor