By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |
Despite significant reform to the way the city collects fines, taxes and permitting fees, New Orleans collected slightly fewer dollars in the first six months of the year than it did in the same period of 2010. Even so, the city is on track to end the year in the black, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s top financial officer told the City Council Budget Committee on Thursday.
A City Council majority that favored a smaller tax increase than sought by Mayor Mitch Landrieu fell apart in the past week, making Saturday morning’s property tax increase possible.
If the City Council ratifies a tax increase Saturday that members privately negotiated with Mayor Mitch Landrieu, it will take one of the final actions needed to produce a balanced 2011 budget.
The City Council voted six to one this morning to hold an extra meeting on Saturday at 10 a.m. in a dash to approve another property tax increase for the city’s 2011 budget, at the behest of Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
In approving a 2011 budget today, the deadline set by the City Charter, the council scaled back the 8.74 mill tax increase sought by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
For the first time since Mayor Mitch Landrieu proposed raising property taxes to balance the city’s 2011 budget, the tax-paying public on Wednesday will have a chance to weigh in on the issue.
The New Orleans City Council has failed to accommodate a request by an open governance group to turn the city’s budget over a few days early so the public can scrutinize last-minute changes.
With a week to go before the City Council must approve the city’s 2011 budget, New Orleans’ chief economist has revised his revenue estimates to project $1.74 million more going to the city next year than previously thought.
The final day of more than three weeks of budget hearings ended today with a final request: that the council pass on the extra time they had to review the budget on to the public.
A Lower 9th Ward park touted in August as one of Mayor Mitch Landrieu definite 100 recovery projects is being funded at one-third the level initially promised, a top Landrieu appointee said at a City Council budget hearing Wednesday.