French Quarter Voters Authorize an Incremental Sales Tax to Fund Safety Efforts

For more than a year a coalition of elected officials, residents, business owners, law enforcement and the tourism industry have worked to craft a plan for funding public safety in the French Quarter.

The sales tax of 0.2495% will be levied and collected by the French Quarter Economic Development District to support the New Orleans Police Department and generate at least $2 million to help fund 30 full-time state police officers.

The hospitality industry and other entities will match the funds, creating a total of about $4.5 million to carry out safety measures.

french quarter

A new sales tax in the French Quarter will help bolster safety efforts. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Details of the New Sales Tax

The sales tax will help create a holistic security program in the French Quarter, enhancing public safety and helping the city secure additional finances paid overwhelmingly by tourists visiting the French Quarter. Just last year, more than 9 million tourists visited the French Quarter, showcasing just how much money this new sales tax will generate.

The tax will directly supply at least 30 Louisiana State Police troopers to watch over the area full time. On average, this will bring an average of 10 to 15 officers patrolling the French Quarter at any given time. The Quarter for the Quarter initiative also bolsters NOPD and NOLA Patrol to enhance their current efforts in the area.

How it Works

This innovative solution applies to purchases made within the district.  The French Quarter Economic Development District, whose boundaries are coterminous with any purchases made in businesses bounded by the Mississippi River, the center line of Canal Street, the lake side of North Rampart Street and the downtown river side of Esplanade Avenue, will be subject to the new tax.

For single purchases, the tax adds a negligible amount to a buyer’s total. However, when multiplied by the millions of purchases made, it allows for new safety opportunities from which we all can benefit.