CA 14 47     

§47.  Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District

Section 47. (A)  There is hereby created the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, hereinafter simply called the "District", which shall be a body politic and corporate and political subdivision of the State of Louisiana composed of all of the territory in the Parishes of Orleans and Jefferson.

(B)  Repealed by Acts 1976, No. 541, §15.

(C)  The purpose for which the District is created is to plan, finance, construct, develop, maintain and operate facilities to be located within the District to accommodate the holding of sports events, athletic contests and other events of public interest.  The District shall constitute an instrumentality of the State of Louisiana, exercising public and essential governmental functions, and the exercise by the District of the powers conferred herein shall be deemed and held to be essential governmental functions of the State of Louisiana.  As the exercise of the powers granted hereby will be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the State, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity, the District shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any property acquired or used by it under the provisions of this amendment, or upon the income therefrom, and any bonds issued hereunder and the income therefrom shall be exempt from taxation by the State of Louisiana and by any parish, municipality or political subdivision of the State.  The District shall not be subject in any respect to the authority, control or supervision of any regulatory body of the State or any political subdivision thereof, but its books and records shall be subject to audit annually by the Legislative Auditor, its employees shall be listed on the central listing of State employees, and it shall invest its idle funds in accordance with the investment of idle funds act and it shall be subject to the provisions of the Code of Ethics.

(D)  The District shall have the power to sue and be sued in its own name and is hereby authorized and empowered to plan, acquire, finance, own, construct, operate and maintain an enclosed and covered stadium for use as coliseums, sports arenas, sports pavilions, exposition sites, field houses, or other buildings or structures for holding sports events, athletic contests, contests of skill, exhibitions, spectacles and other public meetings, and pertinent indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, recreation centers, playing fields, courts, gymnasiums, club houses, parking facilities and areas, other suitable concessions appertaining thereto, related buildings, and all facilities and properties incidental and necessary to a complex suitable for any or all types of sports and recreation, on, above, and below the ground, appurtenances, incidentals and all types of property therefor, real or personal, or both real and personal, including servitudes and rights-of-way (or any combination thereof); to acquire by expropriation, purchase, lease or otherwise, the land and any other property that may be necessary and appropriate to the execution of the purposes of the District; to enter into contracts for the use of the facilities hereinabove described, or any portion thereof, with any person or corporation, public or private, with the State of Louisiana or any of its various agencies, or with any political subdivision of said State or with any combination thereof, for events or programs or series of events or programs, including but not by way of limitation series of football or other athletic games or events, extending over such term as the District may deem appropriate; and to execute leases to the State, its agencies or subdivisions for a term not exceeding forty (40) years at a fixed rental, or for a term not exceeding ninety-nine years provided such latter leases shall contain a clause or clauses for readjustment of the rentals upon the expiration of a primary term of forty (40) years; to borrow with the approval of the State Bond and Tax Board from any person or corporation using or renting any of the facilities hereinbefore described such sums as shall have been determined by the Board to be necessary to improve any of the aforesaid facilities according to plans and specifications approved by the Board and to erect and construct such improvements, and enter into an agreement that the aforesaid loan or loans shall be liquidated by deducting from the rentals, payable for the use of the facilities so leased, the percentage thereof to be agreed upon, subject, however, to any covenants or agreements made with the holders of bonds issued under the authority herein set forth; to collect admissions, tolls, rentals and any and all other charges and fees; to borrow funds for the execution of the purposes of the District; to levy and collect hotel occupancy taxes as hereinafter set forth; to mortgage any of the aforesaid facilities constructed or acquired by the District and to mortgage and pledge any lease or leases and the rents, income and other advantages arising out of any lease or leases granted, assigned or subleased by the District; to collect fees, rentals and other charges for the use of the facilities of the District; to incur debt and issue bonds or other obligations for the needs of the District in the manner hereinafter provided.

(E)  Any other provisions of the Constitution and laws of the State to the contrary notwithstanding and without compliance with any other constitutional or statutory provisions relative to leasing of public facilities the State of Louisiana or any of its various agencies, or any political subdivision thereof, or any combination of the foregoing shall have the right and authority to lease the aforesaid facilities of the District or any portion thereof and provide for the payment of the consideration therefor through the appropriation of funds or otherwise.  The obligations of the lessee or lessees under any such lease shall constitute a charge against the revenues of such lessee or lessees to the extent and in the manner agreed upon by the parties thereto.  In the event the State of Louisiana or any of its various agencies or any political subdivision thereof or any combination of the foregoing shall lease all or any portion of the aforesaid facilities of the District, then such entities shall have the right to sublease to any person or corporation, public or private, all or any portion of the facilities so leased upon such terms and conditions as they may determine.

(F)  Without reference to any other provisions of this Constitution or of any laws enacted thereunder and as a grant of power in addition to any other authority to issue bonds, the District is authorized, with the approval of the State Bond and Tax Board, to issue negotiable bonds of the District from time to time for any purpose within the authority delegated it and to pledge for the payment of the principal and interest of such negotiable bonds the income and revenue derived or to be derived from the properties and facilities maintained and operated by it, or received by the District from any other sources whatsoever, including but not by way of limitation other moneys which by law or contract may be made available to the District, and to prescribe the conditions and details of such bonds.  In addition to the pledge of income and revenues to secure said bonds, the District may further secure their payment by (1)  a conventional mortgage upon any or all of the properties constructed or acquired, or to be constructed and acquired by it, and/or (2) the proceeds of taxes authorized to be imposed pursuant to this amendment.  Such bonds shall be authorized and issued by a resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the District and shall be of such series, bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times not exceeding forty (40) years from their respective dates, bear interest at such rate or rates not exceeding six per centum (6%) per annum, payable semi-annually, be in such denominations, be in such form, either coupon or fully registered without coupons, carry such registration and exchangeability privilege, be payable in such medium of payment and at such place or places, be subject to such terms of redemption not exceeding 105% of the principal amount thereof, and be entitled to such priorities on the income, revenues and taxes of the District as such resolution or resolutions may provide.  The bonds shall be signed by the President and Secretary of the Board of Commissioners of the District (one of which signatures may be a facsimile) and coupon bonds shall have attached thereto interest coupons bearing the facsimile signatures of such officers of the District.  Any such bonds may be issued and delivered, notwithstanding that one or more of the officers signing such bonds or the officer or officers whose facsimile signature or signatures may be upon the coupons shall have ceased to be such officer or officers at the time such bonds shall actually have been delivered.  Said bonds shall be sold for not less than par and accrued interest to the highest bidder at public sale after advertisement by the District at least once a week for three (3) weeks, with the first publication being not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date of sale, in a newspaper of general circulation within the District and in a financial newspaper or journal published in the City of New York or the City of Chicago, reserving to the District the right to reject any and all bids and to re-advertise for bids.

(G)  The Board may in any resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds enter into such covenants with the future holder or holders of the bonds as to the management and operation of facilities, the lease or rental thereof, the imposition and collection of fees and charges for services and facilities furnished by the District, the disposition of such fees and revenues, the issuance of future bonds and the creation of future liens and encumbrances against such facilities and the revenues therefrom, the carrying of insurance on the facilities, the keeping of books and records, and other pertinent matters, as may be deemed proper by the Board to assure the marketability of the bonds, provided such covenants are not inconsistent with the provisions of this amendment.  Any holder of the bonds or of any of the coupons thereto attached may by appropriate legal action compel performance of all duties required of the Board and officials of the District by this amendment.  If any bond issued hereunder is permitted to go into default as to principal or interest, any court of competent jurisdiction may pursuant to the application of the holder of the bond, appoint a receiver for the facilities of the District, which receiver shall be under the duty of operating the facilities and collecting and distributing the revenues thereof pledged to the payment of the bonds, pursuant to the provisions and requirements of this amendment and the resolution authorizing the bonds.  As hereinbefore provided such bonds may in the discretion of the Board be additionally secured by conventional mortgage on all or any part of the properties or facilities acquired, constructed, extended or improved with the proceeds thereof, and the Board shall have full discretion to make such provisions as it may see fit for the making and enforcement of such mortgage and the provisions to be therein contained.

(H)  If more than one series of bonds is issued hereunder payable from the revenues of any facility, priority of lien on such revenues shall depend on the time of delivery of the bonds, each series enjoying a lien prior and superior to that enjoyed by any series of bonds subsequently delivered, except that where provision is made in the proceedings authorizing any issue or series of bonds for the issuance of additional bonds in the future on a parity therewith pursuant to procedure or restrictions provided in such proceedings, additional bonds may be issued in the future on a parity with such issue or series in the manner so provided in such proceedings.  As to any issue or series of bonds which may be authorized as a unit but delivered from time to time in blocks, the Board may in the proceedings authorizing the issuance of the bonds provide that all of the bonds of the series or issue shall be coequal as to lien regardless of the time of delivery.

(I)  The Board may issue bonds under this amendment payable from the revenues to be derived from two or more facilities owned and operated by the District (whether or not such facilities are related or used in conjunction) for the purpose of constructing, acquiring, extending or improving any one or more of the facilities, which bonds may be additionally secured by a conventional mortgage upon such facilities and the taxes authorized to be imposed hereunder.

(J)  The Board may authorize the issuance of refunding bonds of the District for the purpose of refunding outstanding bonds issued pursuant to this amendment.  Such refunding bonds may either be sold and the proceeds applied to or deposited in escrow for the retirement of the outstanding bonds, or may be delivered in exchange for the outstanding bonds.  The refunding bonds shall be authorized in all respects as original bonds are herein required to be authorized, and the Board in authorizing the refunding bonds shall provide for the security of the bonds, the sources from which the bonds are to be paid and for the rights of the holders thereof in all respects as herein provided for other bonds issued under authority of this amendment.  The Board may also provide that the refunding bonds shall have the same priority of lien on the revenues pledged for their payment as was enjoyed by the bonds refunded.  No bonds may be refunded hereunder unless they either mature or are callable for redemption under their terms within ten (10) years from the date issuance of the refunding bonds, or unless the holders thereof voluntarily surrender them for exchange or payment.

(K)  It may be provided in the resolution authorizing any bonds hereunder that such bonds shall recite that they are issued under authority of this amendment.  Such recital shall conclusively import full compliance with all of the provisions of this amendment and all bonds issued containing such recital shall be incontestable for any cause whatsoever after their delivery for value after thirty days from the date of publication of the resolution authorizing their issuance.

(L)  No proceedings in respect to the issuance of any such bonds shall be necessary except such as are contemplated by this amendment.  For a period of thirty (30) days from the date of publication of the resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds hereunder, any person or persons in interest shall have the right to contest the legality of the resolution and the legality of the bond issue for any cause, after which time no one shall have any cause or right of action to contest the legality of said resolution or of the bonds authorized thereby for any cause whatsoever.  If no suit, action or proceedings are begun contesting the validity of the bonds within the thirty (30) days herein prescribed, the authority to issue the bonds and to provide for the payment thereof, the legality thereof and of all of the provisions of the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds shall be conclusively presumed, and no court shall have authority to inquire into such matters.  Such bonds shall have all the qualities of negotiable instruments under the law merchant and the Negotiable Instruments Law of the State of Louisiana.

(M)  In order to provide funds for the purposes of the District, the District is authorized and empowered to levy and collect a tax upon the occupancy of hotel rooms located within the District.  Said tax shall be in the amount of four and one-half percent of the rent or fee charged for such occupancy for a period of thirty-six months from the date of the imposition of the tax and thereafter shall be in the amount of four percent of said rent or fee.  The word "hotel" in this amendment shall mean and include any establishment engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms intended or designed for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes to transient guests, where such establishment consists of ten or more guest rooms.  "Hotel" does not include any hospital, convalescent or nursing home or sanitarium, or any hotel-like facility operated by or in connection with a hospital or medical clinic providing rooms exclusively for patients and their families.  The tax shall be paid by the person who exercises or is entitled to occupancy of the hotel room, and shall be paid at the time the rent or fee for occupancy is paid.  "Person" as used herein shall have the same definition as that contained in R.S. 47:301(8).  The tax shall not apply to the rent for hotel rooms rented to the same occupant for a period of thirty or more consecutive calendar days, nor shall it apply to hotel rooms rented for less than three dollars a day.

The District shall impose the tax by ordinance adopted by its Board of Commissioners, who shall have the right to provide in the ordinance necessary and appropriate rules and regulations for the imposition, collection and enforcement of the tax.  The District shall also have the authority to provide by contract with the fiscal agents of Orleans and Jefferson Parish for the collection of the tax.

In the event the occupancy tax is imposed as herein provided, the two percent state sales and use tax on hotel fees and rentals covered by the occupancy tax, as well as all other local sales or use taxes levied within the District prior to the effective date of this amendment by any political subdivision of the State on such hotel fees and rentals, shall be abated during the period of the levy of the occupancy tax, it being the intention of this amendment to exempt such rentals and fees from the said sales and use taxes in consideration of the economic and financial benefits accruing to the state, the City of New Orleans and the Parish of Jefferson from the construction and operation of the District's facilities.  Provided, however, that the Orleans Parish School Board may levy or continue to levy on such hotel fees and rentals its one percent sales and use tax authorized at a special election held on May 3, 1966; the Jefferson Parish School Board may levy or continue to levy on such hotel fees and rentals its one-half of one percent sales and use tax authorized at a special election held on May 3, 1966; and the Jefferson Parish School Board shall continue to receive and the governing authority of the Parish of Jefferson shall continue to levy for the benefit of said School Board on such hotel fees and rentals fifty percent of the one percent sales and use tax authorized at a special election held on October 5, 1954, it being the further intention of this amendment that the present rate of the sales and use taxes being levied by or accruing to such school boards under existing law shall not be abated or diminished.

The aforesaid ordinance imposing the hotel occupancy tax may not be adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the District unless prior thereto the City of New Orleans and the Parish of Jefferson each adopt, in the manner provided for the adoption of ordinances in their respective charters, ordinances consenting to the exemption above provided from their own respective sales and use taxes of hotel room rentals and fees subject to the hotel occupancy tax herein authorized.

Upon the payment in full in principal and interest of all bonds issued by the District under the terms of the amendment and secured by all or any portion of the hotel occupancy tax, or upon the irrevocable deposit of sufficient funds for the payment and redemption of all such bonds in principal, interest and redemption premiums, if any, to their respective maturity or call dates, the levy of the hotel occupancy tax shall be discontinued and terminated.  If no bonds have been issued by the District secured by all or part of the proceeds of the hotel occupancy tax, then the tax may be terminated at any time by resolution of the Board and in the absence of a resolution terminating it, it shall terminate automatically five years from the date of the adoption of the resolution imposing the tax.  In any case, termination of the occupancy tax shall automatically terminate the exemption herein provided of hotel room rentals and fees from the sales and use taxes of the State of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans and the Parish of Jefferson.

(N)  The District may pledge all or any part of the proceeds of the aforesaid occupancy tax to the payment of bonds authorized pursuant to this amendment under such terms and conditions consistent with the provisions of this amendment as its Board of Commissioners may prescribe and as are contained in the resolution or resolutions providing for the issuance of such bonds.

(O)  When any bonds shall have been issued hereunder secured by all or any portion of the occupancy tax, neither the Legislature, the District, nor any other authority may discontinue or decrease the tax or permit to be discontinued or decreased the tax in anticipation of the collection of which such bonds have been issued, or in any way make any change in the allocation and dedication of the proceeds of such tax which would diminish the amount of tax revenues to be received by the District until all of such bonds shall have been retired as to principal and interest or irrevocable provision otherwise made for their complete redemption and payment in principal and interest and redemption premium, if any.

(P)(1)  Any revenues of the district derived from any source whatsoever, including the hotel occupancy tax, remaining at the end of each fiscal year after the payment and satisfaction of all obligations of the district under the terms of any resolution or resolutions authorizing the issuance of bonds hereunder and thereafter all expenses of operation and maintenance of both the district and the properties which expenses shall include two million three hundred thousand dollars annually to the Renewal and Replacement Fund and five hundred thousand dollars annually to the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, as approved by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, shall be considered as surplus.  The surplus shall be distributed in the following order:

(a)  An amount equal to one and thirteen one-hundredths percent annually of the hotel occupancy tax to Jefferson Parish for tourism promotion.

(b)  Two million two hundred thousand dollars annually to the city of New Orleans to be used solely and exclusively by the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD), or its successor.

(c) Two hundred fifty thousand dollars annually to Xavier University.

(d)  Two hundred fifty thousand dollars annually to Southern University-New Orleans to be used solely and exclusively for the Small Business Center; however, any such monies received shall not supplement, replace, or displace any monies received or otherwise made available from the state by way of  appropriation or otherwise.

(e)  Five hundred thousand dollars annually for the Westbank Sports and Civic Center in Jefferson Parish.

(f)  Two hundred fifty thousand dollars to the University of New Orleans to be used solely to elevate the school of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Administration into a Louisiana Center for Excellence in Hospitality Education, and to provide for the operation and maintenance thereof; however, any such monies received by the University of New Orleans shall not supplant, replace, or displace any monies received or otherwise made available from the state by way of appropriation or otherwise.

(g)  Three hundred fifty thousand dollars annually to the New Orleans Visitors and Information Center.

(h)  In the event the amount available is not sufficient to fully fund the distributions in Subsubparagraphs (a) through (g), the amount available shall be distributed on a pro rata basis.

(2)  The remaining surplus shall accrue to the Economic Development Fund of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District under the following conditions and restrictions.  Monies accruing to the Economic Development Fund from the surplus shall be used for the purposes of developing and engaging in marketing, promotional, and economic development activities on behalf of the district, the development of special projects benefitting the district and the state, and facility planning and expansion programs.  The promotional activities shall include but are not limited to marketing, advertising in any medium, hosting, subsidizing, providing seed money or guarantees, or otherwise financially assisting potential and actual events in facilities of the district and elsewhere, including but not limited to World Cup Soccer, National Football League Super Bowl, national political conventions, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Final Four, for the purpose of promoting the facilities of the district.

(3)  The promotional and economic development activities engaged in and the control and management of the funds accruing from the surplus shall be vested in the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District.

(Q)  The District is further authorized to receive by gift, grant, donation or otherwise any sum of money, aid or assistance from private sources, from the United States, the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, and unless otherwise provided by the terms of such gift, grant, donation, in its discretion, to pledge all or any part of such moneys for the further securing of the payment of the principal and interest of its bonds.

(R)  Nothing herein contained shall be construed to deprive either the City of New Orleans or the Parish of Jefferson of its authority to conduct, under its own auspices, programs of recreation for its residents and to acquire, own and operate such facilities as are determined by their respective governing authorities, to be necessary to the continuation and improvement of recreation programs now or hereafter conducted under existing constitutional and statutory authority delegated them.

(S)  No bond issued under this amendment shall be secured by the faith and credit of the State.

(T)  This amendment is to be regarded as self-sufficient and self-executing without any supplementary action on the part of the Legislature or any other State authority.  The Legislature is nevertheless authorized to more fully define the rights and obligations of the District or otherwise legislate in any manner and to any extent with regard to the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, its governing body and its powers, duties and functions, provided, however, no such changes or legislation shall impair the obligation of any contract or contracts theretofore entered into by the District.

Added by Acts 1966, No. 556, adopted Nov. 8, 1966; Acts 1991, No. 624, §1, eff. July 17, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 1099, §1, eff. July 1, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 640, §4, eff. June 15, 1993; Acts 1995, No. 1191, §1, eff. June 29, 1995; Acts 2009, No. 438, §13.