NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans officials waived property tax late fees for furloughed workers in New Orleans, the city announced Tuesday night (Jan. 22).
Eligible workers will receive a late-fee waiver when they come to City Hall for their next property tax payment, according to a city news release. In a statement, Mayor Latoya Cantrell called the decision “the right thing for our residents.”
“Thousands of our Orleans Parish residents have been impacted by the shutdown, and are facing financial hardship through no fault of their own. This is one way we can help ease their burden until the crisis is resolved," Cantrell’s statement reads.
To qualify to the waiver, residents must show their federal ID and their most recent pay stub.
While the federal shutdown slogs on into its fifth week, many workers in New Orleans are either temporarily out of the job, or working without pay. As home to several federal offices, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce, the Department of State, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, residents here have felt the sting of the shutdown.
Members of the City Council voiced their support for the decision to waive furloughed workers' late fees in the statement. You can read their responses below:
City Council President Jason Williams -
“This isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s the human thing. Political discourse or disagreement in our democracy is always welcomed. But our disputes as elected leaders should never come before the people who pump life into this system every day.”
District A Councilmember Joseph I. Giarrusso III -
“Good government is concerned with justice and mercy. It is right to provide some relief to these public servants who find themselves in an uncertain situation that was foisted upon them.”
District B Councilmember Jay H. Banks -
“Trying to help relieve the pressure being placed on federal employees through no fault of their own is the right thing to do. Our citizens are not pawns, they are people and I’m elated to join with the Mayor to ease this totally unfair burden placed on them.”
District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer -
“New Orleanians have never let the lack of leadership at the federal level stop us from helping our neighbors. I applaud the Mayor for taking this step to provide some measure of relief, while we wait for Washington to stop ignoring the needs of hundreds of thousands of public servants.”
District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett -
"Now entering its fifth week, the federal government shutdown has had devastating effects on furloughed federal workers and government contractors, many of whom are struggling to pay their bills and support their families. I fully support the Mayor’s decision to provide these late-fee waivers and remain committed to working together with the Administration and my colleagues on the Council to continue to do everything in our power to support our city’s hardworking federal employees during these troubling times.”
District E Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen -
“New Orleans has over 7,000 federal employees that are affected by the government shutdown. The shutdown affects employees financially since they have missed a payroll check this month and will not receive a paycheck for the duration of the shutdown. Federal employees need money for basic needs and some have filed for unemployment, of which they have to repay, some have found part time jobs until the shutdown ends and some have borrowed money to cover their expenses. If the shutdown continues until Jan. 28, 2019, that will mean the government employees will go without a paycheck for an entire month. The Mayor’s initiative to allow federal employees to have their property taxes delayed until the furlough ends is the right thing to do. It gives them some relief as to the financial burden they are faced with while they are on furlough.”