NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — After speaking out against Folgers Coffee for reportedly refusing to pay millions in property taxes, the New Orleans Public Schools (NOLA-PS) system is calling on the governor to strike down the company’s application for a tax exemption.

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.

In late 2022, Folgers argued in court that the Board of Commerce & Industry is the one with the true authority to approve the applications. So, despite their request being denied locally, the company has taken it to the state to make the decision.

However, in the meantime, school leaders say the company owes millions of dollars in property taxes, claiming that the company never listed its New Orleans East plant as taxable, nor did it notify the Orleans Parish Assessor that its applications were denied.

Through a resolution passed at a special board meeting this week, NOLA-PS leaders are calling on Governor John Bel Edwards, who is Constitutionally required to approve all ITEP contracts, to reject the company’s applications, saying that:

“If the governor exercises his constitutional authority to formally reject these ITEP applications, our school system will keep intact millions of dollars in funding to continue to serve our students. That’s money we can use to pay teachers, provide mental health services, or provide extracurricular activities,” said OPSB President Olin Parker. “We believe the governor created this taxing opportunity in good faith and will do what he can to preserve the funds to help our students reach their full potential.”

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