On October 14, Louisiana voters passed a constitutional amendment (Act 48 [HB 46]) that ensures nonprofit organizations can be held accountable if they own residential properties that are deemed a public safety or health danger. Authored by New Orleans State Representatives Jason Hughes and Alonzo Knox, with support from Councilmember Helena Moreno, the proposed amendment stemmed from reports of appalling conditions at two apartment complexes in New Orleans East and Metairie, both owned by an out-of-state nonprofit. This amendment establishes that a nonprofit’s exemption from property taxes is contingent on properly maintaining all their residential buildings, enabling the City to deny or revoke tax breaks if a nonprofit entity fails to meet certain health and safety standards. Three or more code violations within a year would result in the loss of the nonprofit’s tax-exempt status until the necessary repairs are made.
The PRC applauds State Representatives Jason Hughes and Alonzo Knox for this important preservation initiative to hold landlords accountable for maintaining their residential properties.
MaryNell Nolan-Wheatley is PRC’s Advocacy Coordinator & Public Policy Research Director.