Trustees of the French Quarter Management District voted last week to oppose a legislative effort to establish a hospitality district encompassing the New Orleans neighborhood with the authority to issue bonds and create sub-districts for projects funded with tax-increment financing.
Trustee board members voted unanimously and agreed that the existing 13-member French Quarter committee should oversee area projects financed with tax dollars.
The management district was established as a state agency in 2007 to allocate hurricane recovery funding within the historic district.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he supports creation of the new hospitality district.
Two New Orleans legislators have introduced bills that would establish a hospitality district oversight board with up to 11 members.
The proposed district would be along the Mississippi River, between the Pont-chartrain Expressway and Elysian Field and Claiborne avenues.
An expected $16 million a year would be generated with the proposed tax hikes.
The hotel tax would go to 14.75% from 13%, and an overnight parking tax across the city would be increased to 13% from 12%.
The hotel and parking tax increases would have to be approved by voters in a citywide election.
The sales tax on food and drink within the hospitality district would go to 2.7% from 2.5%, bringing the total tax there to 9.2%.
The New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corp. and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau would share $11 million of the annual revenue, with $5 million dedicated to infrastructure maintenance and upgrades within the district.
New Orleans has plans for $40 million of civic improvements in the area before the city hosts the National Football League’s Super Bowl championship game in February 2013.