Category: Louisiana Economics

GET READY FOR PR BLITZ BY PORT FOR APRIL 9 TAX RENEWAL

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

Caddo Population Drops Again. Bossier, DeSoto Up.

Share

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

Share

Trying to be Optimistic for Caddo Parish in 2015

Share

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

Share

Caddo Property Owners’ Lump of Coal from CPSB

Share
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

Share

Lee Zurik: Who done it? Neil Riser!

Share

by CB Forgotston

Riser-Edmonson
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:
“Neil,

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

Share

Our Louisiana “Poverty Problem” and the Future

Share

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

Share

Red Flag in Edmonson Caper Missed in Baton Rouge

Share

by CB Forgotston

Wave the flag (NOT Socialist!)
Wave the flag (NOT Socialist!)

Another issue has arisen, that should have waved a red flag to the six conferees (Senators JP Morrell, Neil Riser, Mike Walsworth and Representatives Walt Leger, Bryan Adams and Jeff Arnold) on SB 294 of the 2014 Regular Session.

With the exception of Adams, all are veteran leges. Two of the leges are attorneys and should know the law, especially the Speaker Pro Tem who should also be very familiar with the specific laws governing the lege process as he is often called to rule on them.

Give Away!
Give Away!

SB 294, if you recall, is the legislation that provided State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson a gift from the taxpayers of an extra $30,000 a year for the rest of his and his family’s life.

Red flag

The leges have admitted knowing that the amendment affected the state retirement systems. Therefore, they should have noticed that there was no Actuarial Note attached to the Conference Read more

Share

Can Senator Landrieu Win One More Time?

Share

by Elliott Stonecipher

One More time?
One More time?

Yes, as we know, national political eyes are now on Louisiana, more so than other states where Democrats could lose U. S. Senate seats come November.  If those races end up as they now stand, our nation’s last election in determining which party controls the U. S. Senate would be a December run-off for Senator Mary Landrieu’s seat.

It is a fact that Senator Landrieu wins her campaigns, all of them in her career except the 1995 governor’s race.  In that long record of wins, she at times won ugly, too ugly for some of us.  For that and other reasons, Senator Landrieu now finds herself, by acclamation, in the electoral fight of her life.  Her political career may or may not end this year, and more than a few of us believe Louisiana needs precisely the showdown it takes to determine that.

That Senator Landrieu is our last Democrat standing among statewide elected officials has only increased her power.  Our state’s good-sized army of Democrat Party soldiers, from rural parish officials to U. S. Attorneys, salute and serve but one leader.  They turn a supposed “red” political state to one yet producing, in many notable ways, a deep purple political product.  That the Senator often works and votes in opposition to the will of Louisiana’s majority is well-known, as in her unflaggingly strong support of President Obama.  The most recent poll* on this race shows only one-in-three of the rest of us support him.

2014 Political Tug of War-LandrieuEqually dramatic would be the change if the Senator loses.  Louisiana would then send no Democrat U. S. Senator to Washington for the first time since Reconstruction, and the state Democratic Party would slip into a political purgatory unknown to it in state history.
A Misunderestimation of Senator Landrieu’s Chances?

Many national analysts now conclude that Senator Landrieu will lose this election.  If I didn’t know so much about her previous campaigns, I would join in, but I do, so I don’t.

Yes, it is true that the Senator took her seat with only 50.2% of the vote in her 1996 defeat of State Representative Woody Jenkins, then increased her election percentage to only 51.7% when, in 2002, she beat Suzanne Terrell.  Then in 2008, even with the supercharged Dem turnout for President Obama, she beat State Treasurer John Kennedy with 52.7% of the vote.

That’s an unimpressive 2.5% increase in her winning percentage in 12 years, a period during which other statewide elections for Read more

Share

Mayor Glover: Tuesday Morning History Lesson

Share

by Marion Marks VIDEOS of PRESENTATION: [Part 1 of Mayor HERE][Part 2 HERE] [Part 3-HERE]

Glover Speaks Tuesday morning
Glover Speaks Tuesday morning

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover showed up at the Shreveport Hotel for an 8:00 AM breakfast meeting prepared to open a big can of worms. Starting with the inner-city I-49 corridor plans, moving to the 3132 extension, Jim Larkin development and I-69 master plan, and capping off a one-hour-forty minute presentation with the repeated attacks by insider financial interests on Calvin Grigsby’s attempt to diversify the “good-ole-white-boy club” of financial advisors, Glover hit both Republican bigotry and greed as the root of growth problems the city and nation face in upcoming elections and decisions of policy. Even the Shreveport Dog Park became a target, again! It was a very rambling presentation of One Hour thirty five minutes, as I’m sure many think this article.

Mayor Speaks TuesdaySeldom have so many broad areas been covered with a small group and general expectations that the audience would generate attendance at a city council meeting-rally to be held this afternoon at Government Plaza. If readers and the media (KTBS was the only mainstream media representative I saw in attendance) fail to get the message out, it will be social media and bloggers who recount the rambling message covered. Read more

Share