Committee Amendments to LA SB 573 are now available and in active consideration. These amendments apparently reflect a proposal that was circulated at the end of last week.
The French Quarter Management District (FQMD) is an existing legislative district encompassing the historic Vieux Carré boundaries (Canal St. to N. Rampart St. to Esplanade Avenue to the Mississippi River to Canal St.), as well as both riverside and lakeside of N. Rampart Street from Canal St. to Esplanade Avenue. This amendment would direct the non-PR/tourism marketing revenues collected from within the FQMD’s boundaries to the FQMD.
FQMD will not be able to use any funding from the 1.75% hotel tax, .245 food & beverage tax, or overnight hotel parking tax on administrative overhead. All of those revenues must be spent on sanitation, maintenance, enforcement, etc.
The impact of these changes:
• There would be no new “superboard.”
• The FQMD and New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation would jointly govern the Hospitality District.
• A quorum of both boards would be required for all hospitality zone management actions, and both boards must jointly pass any resolutions/motions.
In other words, both boards keep their normal structure but, if this legislation is passed, both boards will be required to work in tandem.
I believe at this time that the portion of the bill authorizing the Hospitality District to designate and control any property that it deems usable for hospitality/tourism still remains intact; further scrutiny will be required to confirm this. If so, the Hospitality District would still be empowered to acquire such property by “gift, grant, payment or otherwise.”
The boundaries of district (the management entity’s jurisdiction) would be city-wide. The boundaries of hospitality zone (the geographical area) would now omit the Faubourg Tremé, the 7th Ward, and the Faubourg Marigny Triangle. While this may be welcomed by those previously-affected neighborhoods, it now pits those same neighborhoods/areas against the affected areas that remain within the revised boundaries of the hospitality zone (the French Quarter, the CBD, and the Warehouse District). Classic divide-and-conquer strategy, that.
Reportedly only the Landrieu Administration did not sign off on this proposal when it was previously circulated; it did not have the Mayor’s support.
The French Quarter Management District (formerly known as the French Quarter Marigny Historic Area Management District) was the legislatively-created entity behind the failed French Quarter Security District tax proposal of October 2010. (Since that time, a few of the board members have changed, and the boundaries were recently re-configured at the request to of the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association such that the Marigny Triangle is no longer a part of this legislative district.)
In September 2010, I authored an Opposition Statement re: Proposed French Quarter Security District. I will be updating (recycling and cannibalizing) that document today to formally create an Opposition Statement re: Proposed New Orleans Entertainment and Hospitality District.
For more information, please see:
SB 573 Committee Amendments (dated 4/24/12)
Original version: LA SB 573 Creates the New Orleans Entertainment and Hospitality District