NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A civil rights group’s lawsuit in Louisiana state court challenges property tax changes benefitting some businesses in New Orleans.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed the lawsuit Monday claiming city tax assessor Errol Williams illegally lowered assessments for some commercial properties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawsuit says that shifted the tax burden onto residential property owners, many of whom also were suffering economically.

The Louisiana Tax Commission and the head of the city finance department also are defendants.

A spokesman for Williams says the changes were made in accordance with state law requiring assessors to consider the effects of emergencies and disasters on property values.