City of New Orleans to Waive Late Fees on Property Taxes for Furloughed Federal Workers
NEW ORLEANS — On Tuesday, Jan. 22, the City of New Orleans announced that late fees on property tax bills will be waived in the next payment cycle for residents who are furloughed federal workers. Details were shared in a press release.
"This is about meeting people where they are, and doing the right thing for our residents," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "Thousands of our Orleans Parish residents have been impacted by the shutdown, and are facing financial hardship through no fault of their own. This is one way we can help ease their burden until the crisis is resolved."
Furloughed federal workers in New Orleans will be allowed to become eligible for a late-fee waiver when they come to City Hall for their next payment. Eligible residents must show their federal ID, and their most recent pay stub to qualify for the waiver on their next payment.
Portions of the federal government have been shut down since Dec. 22, 2018. New Orleans serves as home to several federal offices, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the Department of State as well as the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
City Council president Jason Williams said, "This isn't just the right thing to do. It's the human thing. Political discourse or disagreement in our democracy is always welcomed. But our disputes as elected leaders should never come before the people who pump life into this system every day."
District A councilmember Joseph I. Giarrusso III said, "Good government is concerned with justice and mercy. It is right to provide some relief to these public servants who find themselves in an uncertain situation that was foisted upon them."
District B councilmember Jay H. Banks said, "Trying to help relieve the pressure being placed on federal employees through no fault of their own is the right thing to do. Our citizens are not pawns, they are people and I'm elated to join with the Mayor to ease this totally unfair burden placed on them."
District C councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, "New Orleanians have never let the lack of leadership at the federal level stop us from helping our neighbors. I applaud the Mayor for taking this step to provide some measure of relief, while we wait for Washington to stop ignoring the needs of hundreds of thousands of public servants."
District D councilmember Jared C. Brossett said, "Now entering its fifth week, the federal government shutdown has had devastating effects on furloughed federal workers and government contractors, many of whom are struggling to pay their bills and support their families. I fully support the Mayor's decision to provide these late-fee waivers and remain committed to working together with the Administration and my colleagues on the Council to continue to do everything in our power to support our city's hardworking federal employees during these troubling times."
District E councilmember Cyndi Nguyen said, "New Orleans has over 7,000 federal employees that are affected by the government shutdown. The shutdown affects employees financially since they have missed a payroll check this month and will not receive a paycheck for the duration of the shutdown. Federal employees need money for basic needs and some have filed for unemployment, of which they have to repay, some have found part time jobs until the shutdown ends and some have borrowed money to cover their expenses. If the shutdown continues until Jan. 28, 2019, that will mean the government employees will go without a paycheck for an entire month. The Mayor's initiative to allow federal employees to have their property taxes delayed until the furlough ends is the right thing to do. It gives them some relief as to the financial burden they are faced with while they are on furlough."