Mayor Mitch Landrieu wants New Orleans residents to approve higher property taxes to help the city reform the Police Department and city jail and shore up the firefighters’ pension fund.*
Exactly how much the tax would rise has not been decided, but you can use our calculator below to see how much more you would pay in different scenarios.
The current tax rate for fire protection is now 5.21 mills; it’s 5.26 to for police. The original version of a bill, sponsored by state Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, would have raised each to 6 mills. has since been amended to raise each to 10 mills. (A mill is 0.1 percent of assessed value.)
The current bill would nearly double the portion of property taxes devoted to police and fire protection.
Property tax calculator
How much more would you pay in property taxes? Use our calculator to find out.
- Enter the full value of your home.
- Select which side of the river you live on.
- Check the box if you have a homestead exemption. This affects your total tax bill, but not the share for police and fire.
The calculator is set at the current combined police and fire millage of 10.47. You can move it to whatever tax rate you like: 12 mills as originally proposed, the current proposal of 20, or anything else.
Voters would have to approve increase
Several things have to happen before your tax bill would go up in 2016.
The state Legislature has to approve the bill, which would set a statewide vote to amend the state Constitution authorizing the higher rate in New Orleans. The increase would have to be approved statewide and in Orleans Parish.
Next the New Orleans City Council would have to put the tax increase on the ballot in Orleans Parish sometime in 2015. If voters approved it, the council would decide how much to tax, up to the amount authorized.
Raising the property tax to 10 mills apiece for police and fire would raise about $34.5 million in 2018, according to a fiscal analysis on the original bill.
New Orleans Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin told The Lens two weeks ago that the city may need $40 million a year to:
Fully fund the firefighters pension fund.
Reform the Police Department.
- Improve conditions at Orleans Parish Prison.
*Correction: This post originally stated that the money would be used to pay for reforms at the police and fire departments; it would be used to for the Police Department and Orleans Parish Prison. (May 6, 2014)
This story was updated after publication to include a new fiscal analysis on how much it would raise.