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Folgers Coffee filed tax exemption lawsuit to New Orleans court

Folgers Coffee filed tax exemption lawsuit to New Orleans court

December 31 - 2022

Coffee Geography Magazine


Folgers Coffee filed a tax exemption lawsuit as the company owing millions in past due property taxes for its New Orleans East facilities. The lawsuit is opened at the Orleans Parish Civil District court to throw out a bill from Assessor Erroll Williams who claimed the company owes about $5.1 million in current and back taxes.

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Folgers has received a total of about $121 million in property tax exemptions from 2000 to 2017. Residents and advocacy groups, including Together New Orleans, petitioned against the tax exemptions, to all three local taxing bodies, the New Orleans City Council, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and Orleans Parish School Board which led to the rejection of six of Folgers’ applications.

The company sought lucrative ITEP breaks covering an entire decade. The case was initially opened a year ago when Folgers filed six different applications for Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) for upgrades the company completed at its Chef Menteur Highway and Old Gentilly Road plants.

Following standard practice at the time, Williams kept the properties off the tax rolls while the applications were pending. Initial estimates put Folgers’ tax bill at about $12 million. Williams added the properties back on the rolls in March at a value of less than half that amount. 

The reduction came after Folgers changed the amount of investments the company claimed it made in its property upgrades from $161.8 million to just $77.4 million. 

“Homeowners and small businesses have to pay their taxes and so should Folgers,” City Council President Helena Moreno said in a press release. “The law and the votes have been clear: they owe these taxes that pay for essential city services like public safety and infrastructure. No one should be exempt from the law.”