NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — After pressure from New Orleans Public School leaders, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has announced he will deny Folgers Coffee’s application for tax exemption through the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP).

“I have always been clear that I believe local governments should have authority over exemptions to their own property taxes, which they use to fund priorities like roads, schools and law enforcement,” said Governor Edwards. “This revenue does not come to state government, so state government should not have all the decision-making power. That belief in local control of local money was the basis of the ITEP reforms my administration put in place in 2016. Therefore, I will deny the ITEP applications that were recently advanced by the state Board of Commerce and Industry after being rejected at the local level.”

Nearly two years ago, the City denied the company’s six applications for Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), an initiative that provides an 80% tax break for five years and the option to renew for an additional five years.

The city claims that Folgers owes millions in property taxes for its plant in New Orleans East after it was denied that tax break. However, the company still had the option to file for the applications to be viewed by the state, which would end up on the governor’s desk if approved.

The decision comes less than a week after NOLA-PS passed a resolution urging the governor to deny the applications.

The group Together New Orleans released a statement later applauding Governor Edwardson his decision saying the governor stood by his words. and balanced the scales bringing fairness to a place that needs it.

“For five years now, Folger’s has been allowed to operate under a different set of rules from any other taxpayer in the State,” said Rev. JC Richardson, a member of the Executive Committee of Together New Orleans. “In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to go through all this, just to get one big company to pay its taxes.”

Governor Edwards says more than $750 million has increased funding for Louisiana governments, schools, and law enforcement in its first six years.

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