It will not be Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration paying New Orleans firefighters the millions in backpay they are owed, it is the taxpayers of the city.
In a settlement between Landrieu and the firefighters union, much of the $75 million owed to firefighters for decades now will derive from a 2.5 mills tax increase which will go before New Orleans residents in April of 2016.
The issue first arrived when the city refused to follow state-mandated pay increases for New Orleans firefighters back in the 1990’s.
Under the settlement, the city will pay $15 million to the firefighters upfront. Then, it will pay $5 million over the next 14 years via a tax increase to residents, if it is approved by voters in April.
Aside from Landrieu’s plan punting the issue to voters, it still must be approved by the firefighters involved in the original lawsuit and must be approved by the courts.
As the Hayride previously reported, Landrieu faced house arrest after being held in contempt of court for failing multiple times to devise a plan to pay the firefighters.
At the time, Landrieu said he would gladly take house arrest for the remainder of his two years in office. But, at the last minute he backed away from those statements and the state Supreme Court ruled that Landrieu would not have to be placed on house arrest while appealing the ruling.