NEW ORLEANS — A new study says the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board desperately needs money to upgrade its infrastructure, and it may need to start charging a new storm water fee.
That’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
It’s no secret the Sewerage and Water Board needs improvement — and money. We don’t need a study to tell us that. But the latest study, commissioned after the August 2017 floods, makes a few key points:
For starters, New Orleans’ drainage system is funded entirely by property taxes, but nearly half the property in town is exempt for one reason or another.
The report suggests an alternative to higher property taxes: A storm water fee that all property owners would pay, including nonprofits.
Raising property taxes, even for a need as obvious as better drainage, will be a tough sell. For that reason alone, the S&WB, Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the City Council should at least consider the study’s idea of a storm water fee.