French Quarter security district parcel fee (from Times-Picayune online nola.com)
After weeks of contentious debate, French Quarter voters rejected a property fee to pay for private security patrols in the city’s most famous neighborhood. Proponents put forth the proposal as a way to deter crime by having visible patrols roaming the streets 24 hours a day, mainly on bicycles and open-air four-wheel vehicles.
But critics claimed the fees, which would bring in about $1 million a year, were exorbitant for the level of service to be provided, noting that as few as three patrol officers would be on duty at a time and that, except at night, they would not carry guns. They also argued that visitors and businesses should pay for any increased security measures, not residents.
Despite its small population, millions of tourists flood the French Quarter annually, giving it an extremely high crime rate on a per-capita basis. Under the proposal, owners of individual homes, condos and rental buildings with four or fewer units would have paid $185 a year, while small commercial buildings and apartment buildings with five or more units would have paid $395. Businesses that sell alcohol for on-premises consumption would have paid $545, and about 50 large commercial properties, including hotels and retail malls, would have been billed from $900 to $15,000 a year, depending on their size and use.
9 of 9 precincts Votes
Yes 317 35%
No 589 65%