NEW ORLEANS - District "B" Councilmember Jay H. Banks recently testified at the Committee hearing in support of House Bill 553, which was passed by the Louisiana Senate on Wednesday.
The bill clears the way for a $350M investment in Harrah's Casino with no subsidies from the state along with 900 potential jobs. The proposal passed by the Senate would have Harrah's pay the state at least $83.6M annually starting in 2021, and the New Orleans casino support services allocation would be adjusted from $3.6M to $6M annually. This would include the provision that the support services allocation would come directly to the City, instead of going to the state.
The approved Senate measure includes an upfront payment made by Caesar's of about $10M. It also includes an additional $10M to the City of New Orleans General Fund if Caesar's moves forward with the REIT transaction. Potentially, $20M to the City's General Fund in the next budget cycle. Finally, the City would be in line for millions more annually in incremental property and sales taxes and lease payments.
Councilmember Jay H. Banks has been a strong advocate for Harrah's New Orleans as an economic engine for tourism, and a model for workforce development and inclusion in District "B" and throughout the city.
"We cannot afford to pass on this investment in our city and not help create 900 new jobs for our citizens," said Councilmember Jay H. Banks.
Councilmember Jay H. Banks is happy to be the first member of the Council to publicly support the measure, which takes a great first stride to opening opportunities and increasing monetary gain for the City while not raising taxes for a single New Orleanian.
While the measure has passed the House once, the bill now heads back to the House for review of the changes that the Senate made and upon approval, will head back to the Governor's Desk. One confirmation stands before a significant economic benefit for New Orleans and Councilmember Jay H. Banks is committed to carrying on the fight for District "B" and all of New Orleans.
This is a major development, and it must be emphasized that this agreement does not require one cent in City or State incentives or subsidies, and it will provide 900 new jobs within District "B" and benefit the entire City of New Orleans.