The New Orleans Tribune urges its readers and followers to vote ”yes” on Saturday, April 30 for a new 5-mill property tax dedicated to programs and capital investments that provide childcare and educational opportunities for children who have not yet entered kindergarten.
If approved, the tax would begin in 2023 and expire in 20 years, at the end of 2042. The City estimates gross revenue of $21.3 million from the tax in its first year.
If the tax measure passes, homeowners will pay an additional $50 annually on each $100,000 of property value above the $75,000 homestead exemption.
We’re encouraging New Orleans that trust our voice to vote yes for this measure because we believe that an investment in our youngest children is the seed our community must sow in order to build a better and brighter future for all of New Orleans. Quality early childhood education programs prepare young children for future academic success. As we face current challenges such as the rise in violent crime and more crime involving young people, we are certain that without investments in our youth, these issues will continue to plaque our city.
The tax proposal plan projects expanding the number of City-funded seats in early childhood programs across New Orleans to 1,000 by 2024. Other annual expenditures planned for the projected revenue of the ECE tax include funding for teacher professional development and child and family support services and an expansion of early learning center capacity.
And with that, our only concern about this millage proposal is that it will not fund even more seats for pre-schoolers.