Category: Louisiana Economics


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Yep, its that time again—for Caddo (and for a change Bossier) voters to have another special election’ for a tax renewal. Not that there are not enough special elections in what is almost a home grown Louisiana sport— tax elections on dates that do not coincide with regular elections. This time the vote is to renew a 2.5 millage for the Caddo Bossier Port on April 9th.

On April 3, 1993, the voters of Caddo and Bossier Parishes approved a special tax of 2.5 mills to be levied on the property subject to taxation in the Port Area, consisting of Caddo and bossier Parishes for a period of twenty -five (25) years, commencing with the year 1993. The purpose of the tax was for site acquisition and for constructing, acquiring, improving and equipping docks and wharves, transfer and storage facilities, commercial and industrial facilities and other port, transportation and infrastructure facilities and improvements with the Port. The revenue from this tax has increased from $2 million in 1995 to over $6 million in 2014. In 21 years over $80 million has been generated by this assessment.

port of shreveport bossier
port of shreveport bossier

The Port has approximately 700 acres of it’s 2300 hundred acres owned left for development; only 145 of these are contiguous which limits Read more

CPSB Pays Big Bucks To Goree and Abrams– Chump Change for Teachers and Staff

Opinion by John Settle

 Caddo Parish School Superintendent Lamar Goree likes to brag about how great the 5800 plus employees of the Caddo School Board are at the community forums “explaining” the upcoming $108 million bond issue vote on May 2. What he fails to say is how poorly they are paid– much less how much the board pays him as well as school board attorney Reginald Abrams. And not surprisingly he does not mention how many hours he and his staff have spent in efforts to indoctrinate teachers and staff in mandatory meetings held before and after school hours.

Last Man Standing

Goree was selected by default in November of 2013. The School Board had a split 6-6 vote along racial lines—and Goree was selected by unanimous vote after Tim Magner (a white candidate) withdrew his name in an effort to promote school unity.He signed a 3 year contract that commenced December 1 of that year with a minimum base salary at $200,000 per year; the contract provided for incentive bonuses Read more

Caddo Population Drops Again. Bossier, DeSoto Up.

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

Today’s release of data from the U. S. Census Bureau’s official population Estimates program shows Caddo Parish’s population dropping again over the past data year.

Caddo population as of July 1, 2014, stood at 252,603, down from 255,164 one year earlier, a loss of -2,561 residents, or -1.0%.

Compared to the 2010 Census headcount, Caddo has lost -2,366 residents, from 254,969 on April 1, 2010 to the new total of 252,603 for July 1, 2014.Caddo DOWN

Caddo population had risen during the period mid-year 2010 to mid-year 2012, up to 257,328, but in the two years since, as Haynesville Shale activity dropped and the General Motors Read more

Trying to be Optimistic for Caddo Parish in 2015

thick fog on roadby Marion Marks

The fog of the holidays will soon be lifting. Caddo residents need to gear up for the new year and try not to think about all of the failures and resources we’ve wasted over the past eight years that a failed mayor and school board allowed our system to linger in disrepair. As fun and pretty as the holiday decorations have been, it’s almost lovely to try to get your house back to something you can call a “ normal state” (whatever normal really means.)

let_it_go-let_it_go-Let_it_GO I enjoy allowing the holiday to settle into something past, behind me, and try to blaze forward into what I want to believe promises to be a healthier, wiser year! (As a popular and over used children’s chorus sings, “Let It Go, Let It Go!”)

What I don’t like Read more

Caddo Property Owners’ Lump of Coal from CPSB

CPSB Coal Lumps for Taxpayers
CPSB Coal Lumps for Taxpayers

by Elliott Stonecipher

Wow, what a Christmas season wallop this morning from the Central Office staff of the Caddo Parish School Board!  Via a front-page spread in the Shreveport Times, taxpayers – particularly we property tax payers who are notably targeted for tax abuse here – learn that the latest “reform” plan of our CPSB makes darned certain we keep such tax abuse in place.

bad-newsThe plan is to keep and preserve (and honor, I guess) our highest in Louisiana property tax millage, killing any hope of offering would-be new residents a tax deal no so Read more

Lee Zurik: Who done it? Neil Riser!

by CB Forgotston

Sen. Neil Riser (right) and Col. Mike Edmonson appears on the Facebook page.of the Louisiana State Troopers Association.

Lee Zurik investigative reporter with WVUE-TV in New Orleans revealed last night that it was Senator Neil Riser who put the amendment into the Conference Committee Report on SB 294 that gave La. State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson an extra $55,000 a year retirement benefit for the rest of his life. ( See story here.)
Riser’s lie

On July 16, 2014, I sent via email this message to Riser:

You were a member of the Conference Committee that added an amendment to SB 294 of the 2014 Regular Session that granted special retirement benefits to certain members of the La. State Police.

I know that such changes don’t come from thin air or accidentally get into such reports. Please tell me:

1) Who asked you to put the amendment into the Conference Committee Read more

Our Louisiana “Poverty Problem” and the Future

by Elliott Stonecipher

AEC Foundation Cover 2013Among those who read the article in The Advocate, I doubt any of us was surprised.  Louisiana, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Book, ranks 47th among the states and District of Columbia in the well-being of our children.

This once again directs our attention to our “poverty problem.”  The problem in Louisiana, and a few other places, is so intractable as to have long ago numbed us to its meaning and importance.  In fact, it goes far in downright defining our state.  Great Society-Pull Out of Poverty

Many government agencies and their studies routinely track poverty’s innumerable statistical markers and evidence.  In thinking about that fact, a simple question dashed through and out of my thinking, quickly to return and settle:  have we, will we, can we ever solve this problem?  We know and understand the Biblical injunction that “the poor will always be among” us, but to this extent and degree?  Will our state and federal executives and legislators ever get ahead of this?  After all the money spent toward its resolution over the decades, what difference?

In the most recent, 2012, data from the U. S. Census Bureau (SEE here, scroll to Page 3), 15.9% of Americans were Read more