City Cigarette Tax Fails, Vote On Hotel Tax Is Postponed

May 7, 2014

There will be no new taxes on cigarettes in New Orleans. The legislature voted down the 80-cent tax on tobacco products Wednesday morning.

The cigarette tax bill was one of two bills supported by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to shore up the New Orleans city budget.

The second bill, to raise the city’s hotel tax by 1.75 percentage points, was returned to the calendar Wednesday afternoon to be voted on at a later date.

If the hotel tax is passed in the legislature, it still would have to pass muster with Governor Bobby Jindal.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu supported both new tax plans to fund reforms to the Police Department, clean up the city’s jail and fund the firefighters’ pension fund. The city will need up to $40 million a year to pay those court-ordered expenses, according to The Lens.

Landrieu is also supporting a bill that would increase the portion of property taxes allocated for police and fire services.

Each of the taxes would have to be approved by New Orleans voters before taking effect.