LOUISIANA – Property owners dumbfounded by new ‘air rights’ fees on balconies

KSLANEWS12:  Property owners dumbfounded by new ‘air rights’ fees on balconies
By Bob Masson
June 7, 2016

NEW ORLEANS,LA (WVUE) – The Vieux Carre Property Owners Association was taking a stand Tuesday against a new city policy that already appears to be keeping property owners from improving some of the most historic properties in the country.

The policy imposes thousands of dollars in fees on those who own property with balconies and overhangs. They are the balconies and wrought iron that adorn some of the most significant architecture in the country, and now they’re being subjected to fees many see as exorbitant.

“I was very surprised to learn about the fee,” said homeowner Gregory Jones.

Under a  law recently passed by the state, the city may charge homeowners for the air rights over sidewalks, and that means fees of up to $4,000 a year in some cases for balconies that – until recently – went tax free.

“This is not just a French Quarter issue. You’re penalizing people who own properties which are a calling card,” said Meg Lousteau with the Vieux Carre Property Owners’ Association.

But it’s not just balconies, stoops or galleries with post-supports subject to taxes, Gregory Jones had to fork over $1,000 for an overhang to renovate his home on Dauphine.

“I don’t think it’s fair for someone to charge us for air rights,” Jones said.

The new fees are a concern for preservationists and contractors.  Read more:

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