|Thomas John "Tom" Capella|
Louisiana State Representativer
for District 98 (Jefferson Parish)
November 2001 – January 2004
|Preceded by||Jim Donelon|
|Succeeded by||Cheryl Gray|
Division B member of the
Jefferson Parish Council
2004 – April 2011
|Preceded by||Edmond Joseph "Ed" Muniz|
|Succeeded by|| Mike Thomas (interim)
Elton M. Lagasse (elected without opposition)
Jefferson Parish Assessor
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Lawrence E. Chehardy|
|Born|| April 1965|
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
|Political party||Republican |
|Spouse(s)||Stephanie Carroll Capella|
|Children||Sophie and Eliza Jane Capella |
|Residence||Metairie, [Jefferson Parish, Louisiana|
|Alma mater|| Jesuit High Schoo|
Thomas John Capella, known as Tom Capella (born April 25, 1965), is an attorney in his native New Orleans, Louisiana, who has been since 2011 the tax assessor of suburban rom 2001 to 2004, he was a Republican state representative for District 98 in Jefferson Parish.
Capella is the youngest of ten children of Bernard Joseph Capella, Jr., and the former Lillian McCormack, both deceased. His sister, Mary Jane Capella Silva, an educator and the second oldest of the children, died at the age of sixty on September 2, 2012. He graduated in 1983 from the Roman Catholic Jesuit High School in New Orleans. He earned a Bachelor of Science in management in 1987 from Tulane University and a law degree in 1993 from the Tulane Law School, also in New Orleans, where he maintains his legal practice. He resides in Metairie in Jefferson Parish with his wife, the former Stephanie Carroll, a former parochial school teacher. The couple has two daughters, Sophie and Eliza Jane Capella.
Capella has been active in the Catholic Youth Organization and is a member of the finance committee of St. Michael's Special School for disabled children in New Orleans. He is a class captain of the Jesuit High School Alumni Association. He is affiliated with the Pontchartrain Shores Civic Association and the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.
On November 24, 2001, Capella narrowly won a low-turnout special election to succeed Republican Representative Jim Donelon, who resigned effective June 30 to become the assistant state insurance commissioner under J. Robert Wooley, a Democrat. When Wooley later resigned as commissioner, Donelon moved up to the top spot on an interim basis and was elected in 2006 to the position, which he still holds. Capella polled 1,861 votes (50.6 percent) to runner-up fellow Republican Dianna Dyer's 1,489 (40.5 percent). Two other candidates held the remaining 9 percent of the ballots cast.
Capella's abbreviated term in the House corresponded with the second administration of Republican Governor Murphy James Foster, Jr., who credited Capella with saving the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, or TOPS scholarships, adopted in 1998 and named for its key proponent, New Orleans businessman Patrick F. Taylor (1937-2004). The program particularly benefits the middle class. Capella was a member of the House Insurance and Judiciary committees. He co-authored the Louisiana Anti-Terrorism Act and worked for the rights of military service personnel. He sponsored the creation of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Restoration and Conservation. He worked to obtain economic development projects for municipalities.
A victim of redistricting adverse to his political interest, Capella did not seek reelection to the House to a full term and was succeeded by a Democrat, Cheryl Gray. Instead he was narrowly elected in 2003 to an at-large position on the Jefferson Parish Council. He unseated the veteran Division B member, Edmond Joseph "Ed" Muniz, by 973 votes: 65,721 (50.4 percent) to 64,748 (49.6 percent).
In 2007, Capella won a second term on the council by a wide margin, 78,531 votes (79.9 percent) to 19,714 (20.1 percent) for the Democrat Fred "Ed" Mathew. Capella left the council in 2011 upon his a special election for Jefferson Parish assessor to succeed Lawrence E. Chehardy, a Republican who retired after thirty-four years in the position to return to his law practice. Capella won the position in
Like his predecessor, Chehardy, Capella is a staunch advocate of the $75,000 homestead exemption in the assessment of property taxes in Louisiana. In 2013, Capella sent a letter to constituents arguing for the exemption and reminding voters that the renewal of property taxes on their ballots the following month would mean an increase in their 2013 tax bills. Voters then rejected the tax renewals except for fire protection.
Capella ran without opposition for his second and third full terms as assessor in the primary elections held on October 24, 2015, and October 12, 2019.
- Thomas Capella. Mylife.com. Retrieved on July 9, 2020.
- "Guest Speaker: Councilman Tom Capella," Bent Tree Estates Civic Association, March 19, 2009, material no longer accessible on-line.
- Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024. Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on July 9, 2020.
- Mary Jane Capella Silva. tributes.com (September 4, 2012). Retrieved on July 9, 2020.
- Thomas J. Capella. roedelparsons.com. Retrieved on July 9, 2020.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 24, 2001.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Jefferson Parish), November 15, 2003.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Jefferson Parish), October 20, 2007.
- Manuel Torres (April 30, 2013). Jefferson Parish Assessor Tom Capella says tax renewals on May 4 ballot would raise 2013 bills. The New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved on July 9, 2020.