Should a candidate for the Shreveport City Council actually live in the District he wants to serve? No, its not a trick question but it is one that the voters in District A may want to consider. And if its important to them, then they should ask candidate Greg Young.
Young is one of 3 candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Rose McCullough; Willie Bradford (rumored to be the favorite) and Joe Cooper are also in the race. Young is a former post office employee who has had little civic involvement in Shreveport.
Greg Young and his wife Jackie own a home at 2209 North Cross Drive in Blanchard; the residence is not in the Shreveport city limits. The house has an assessed value of $450,00. They both have filed for the $75,000 parish homestead exemption on this home.
In August of last year Young changed his voter registration address to 3041 Yorktown Drive is the Cooper Road (MLK) area; the humble house at this address has an assessed value of $25,000. Neighbors report that Young is rarely seen at this address – – only that he may have spent a few nights at the house since last year. Young listed a post office address when qualifying for this race.
Unfortunately, Young’s actions meet the minimum standard required for a Council race – – that the individual have a residence in the district. Unlike the requirements for a state elected office, Young is not required to be domiciled in the district. Individuals can have only one domicile (“permanent residence”) verses several residences.
The homestead exemption is, however, limited to home ownership and actual residence in the home. By changing his voter registration and then qualifying for the election with a resident address in District A, Young has clearly abandoned his former homestead on Squirrel Point. Hopefully Caddo Parish Tax Assessor Charles Hennigan will change the homestead, – – only allowing $37,500 for Youngs’ wife.
Young’s actions are a sham at best; if he gets the benefit of a full homestead tax exemption for 2014 he should be charged with tax fraud. To say the least Young is trying to fool the residents of District A – – if not outright deceive them.
The voters of District A deserve better, and hopefully they will send Young back to Blanchard as an unsuccessful (and untruthful) council wannabe.