Mayor LaToya Cantrell, through the Action New Orleans initiative, is not playing around when it comes to the major city tourism organizations.
A recent video (below) and web page highlight the need for hotel tax reform, specifically when it comes to the delivery of funds, putting the brunt of criticism on the surplus paid to local tourism groups. Now, some may not appreciate what they may see as “scapegoating,” but considering the “fair share” argument, many say it’s about time.
In the video – which works as a sort of educational, if propagandistic, plea for its own case – an unseen narrator goes over the issue of local infrastructure. How schools, bridges, roads (the potholes!) and more (sewerage & water board) could use significant fixing up. And since Domino’s Pizza can’t be our Plan B for most of it, we need a Plan A that’s long-term and potentially sustainable.
The Convention Center brings in many events, including next month’s Wizard World Comic-Con, but only pay a very small percentage in taxes, putting more pressure on the residents to carry the load (the CC board is not publicly elected, by the way). This sore spot has been found by the Cantrell administration, and they’ve made it their goal to promote the idea of fair share distribution to City Hall for renewing our infrastructure.
As lofty and good-hearted as the plan might be, New Orleans politics can be most difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to money. Who will oversee the disbursement? Who will ensure accountability? One step at a time, but these are important questions that need to be asked, loudly and often.
Do you support this plan by the Mayor?