No Need to Defer on Folgers

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While we are happy that the New Orleans City Council denied two of Folger’s six applications for tax breaks through the ITEP program, we are puzzled about one thing: Why defer on the other four until Jan. 14, 2021?

What is happening on Jan. 14, 2021, that would make the fiscal condition of New Orleans and its residents any different than it is now? Will we discover that City Hall was built atop a gold mine?

According to city officials, New Orleans is facing fiscal shortfalls that will result in furloughs of public employees like firefighters and police officers. If any of that is marginally accurate, then giving an $8 billion corporation like Folgers a tax break that would cost the city $14 million over 10 years should be a non-starter.

Why are we even talking about this? Why are we waiting? The Council should have told Folgers “NO” on all six of its applications TODAY. And unless MacKenzie Scott is about to drop $14 million on the City, we expect the answer to be “NO” come next year as well.

Scratch that. Even if Ms. Scott’s philanthropic spree somehow resulted in a boon for the City, there should be NO tax breaks for Folgers or any other multi-billion dollar corporation. Perdido Street itself could be made out of pure gold one-mile deep with rivers of crude oil flowing through it, and it would still be a “NO” on the question of tax breaks for $8 billion dollar corporations.

Our schools, our children, our elderly, our neighborhoods, and small businesses deserve better than that. That will not change on Jan. 14, 2021.