NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— A preliminary injunction is still in place as Folgers Coffee company battles in court with Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams.
Folgers is battling the City following a tax exemption fiasco that left Folgers owing millions of dollars in past due property taxes for its facility in New Orleans East.
This property tax lawsuit ended up in court after the New Orleans City Council, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Orleans Parish School Board denied Folgers six applications for Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP).
The conflict stems from ITEP, which in 2016 was reformed by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. The reform gives local governments the say in whether property taxes are exempted. In Folgers’ case the local government denied six ITEP applications.
“We believe Folgers should pay its taxes like all other citizens do,” Rev. Jeff Conner with Together New Orleans said.
In Civil District Court, Folgers lawyers argued that the Board of Commerce & Industry is the one with the authority to make the decision regarding what needs to be paid and whether Folgers needs to pay what’s owed despite all of it being caught up in court. The City stands by their decision to not grant Folgers exemptions. Even if Folgers does get the exemptions, Judge Omar Mason stated that exemptions are only 80 percent of the taxes, so 20 percent is still owed. Folgers is now waiting to see what the Board of Commerce & Industry regulations are.
Local organization, Together New Orleans says Folgers needs to pay up, especially with the dire needs within our community.
“We are concerned about funding of essential services in New Orleans like police, fire, schools, and Sheriff’s Office,” Rev. Jeff Conner said.
Judge Mason decided no decision will be made until March 16, 2023 after Folgers can meet with the Board of Commerce & Industry.