Zurik: City investigating ‘discrepancies’ between Folgers’ city permit, state tax exemption applications

City Council to vote on retroactive tax exemption worth millions of dollars in Thursday meeting
Updated: Dec. 15, 2020 at 6:53 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - On the heels of a Thursday meeting where the New Orleans City Council will vote on whether to grant Folgers Coffee Company millions of dollars in retroactive tax exemptions, the city is now looking into another issue where the company could owe money.

City Council Vice President Helena Moreno said the city is looking into discrepancies between amounts quoted on applications for city building permits and applications for the state tax exemptions. The applications were for expansions at the coffee company’s New Orleans East facilities.

In August, FOX 8 uncovered how the company has not been paying taxes on improvements made years ago and is now asking for retroactive exemptions on taxes. The plant made the improvements in 2017 and delayed state hearings over the exemptions until this year. The improvements could be worth $12 Million dollars in taxes due to the city which is facing a financial crisis.

The application discrepancies could also mean more money is due to the city.

A spokesperson for the city released a statement Tuesday afternoon confirming the discrepancy.

“The City became aware of the issue earlier this week and immediately began a review of the permitting history of the Folgers facilities. It was determined that there is indeed a discrepancy in the permit and ITEP application valuations. This could be attributable to certain processing equipment that was not included in the permit valuations, however, the City will move forward with a full audit of the permit applications to determine if the permits’ values were correct,” the spokesperson said.

The six separate tax exemptions are slated to go before the New Orleans City Council during their meeting on December 17, where Moreno will ask for them to be rejected.

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