Potholes, water woes: New Orleans seeks more of tourist tax

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans' mayor says the city deserves to get a bigger percentage of the $166 million collected each year from a 15 percent surcharge on hotel rooms.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the city of Mardi Gras fame receives barely more than 1 in 10 of each dollar collected from the taxes and fees visitors pay. The Southern tourist destination is grappling with longstanding infrastructure challenges, including potholes, drainage problems and sporadic drinking water issues.

Winning a bigger slice of the pie could be a tall political order for the new mayor — much of the money is earmarked for the Superdome and other state-owned institutions.

Tourism leaders have proposed a higher hotel tax, but Cantrell says that wouldn't be enough.