- Elliott Stonecipher
Sunday, April 22, 2018 … 9:18 A.M.
As promised, here are requested questions and answers about Mayor Ollie Tyler’s bad faith tax hike package up for a vote next Saturday.
1. Why did Tyler deliberately allow five-of-six of these property taxes to expire last year?
She did so because she believed her City Hall water and sewer debacle would have meant their defeat (and I agree). Legally turning these into new taxes is 100% on her. In any case, the No. 6 tax has never been voted on.
2. What additional EPA-related water and sewer rate increases are already set?
The City’s website shows that between 2018 and 2022, Shreveport water rates will go up at least 10% – on unstoppable auto-pilot – and our sewer rates will go up at least another 24%. Between 2013 and 2017, Shreveporters have thus far paid hikes of 15% in water and 92% in sewer rates.
3. Will city employees lose their jobs if the tax increases are not approved?
The Caddo Parish School Board infamously made such threats (which Tyler has not) in its 2015 campaign for a $108,000,000 spending spree, but Caddoans called their bluff and defeated it. NO JOB CUTS resulted. In fact, the CPSB soon after gave employees 5% pay raises – fixed raises, not one-time – with no new taxes.
4. What City Hall cuts would result from defeating these taxes?
The subject $11.2 million in spending is 2.3% of total spending this year, BUT some of the $4.6 million 2018 budget surplus would be used to reduce that. Cuts in “protected” political spending are the solution. For example, in 2011-2017, City Hall lost -$12.1 million on the Downtown Convention Center / hotel, and refuses to unload it to stop the bleeding.
5. Is it true that Shreveport Police officers will get a raise if these taxes are passed?
Cuts at SPD are routinely threatened when City Hall wants more of our money. But, our SPD sources stress that, for example, previously promised “extra pay” for officer uniforms somehow never made it to them. They note, too, their current suspicion because the mayor only recently began talking-up supposed raises from the subject $11.2 million.
6. What is the 33% “premium” we must pay if these increases are approved?
Mayor Tyler refuses to discuss how passage of any of these millages legally permits her to charge us these taxes for all twelve months of 2018 … retroactive taxation. By her own choice, these expired taxes cannot legally be in force until May 1st – if they pass. Still, she will force us to pay taxes for January-April … one-third of the year.
7. Are the tax increases otherwise legal?
No. City Hall is no respecter of law. Mayor Tyler knows very well that what she is doing was prohibited by the City Charter from the very beginning. Here is my explanatory article:
8. How do these property taxes figure into next year’s City Hall plans to tax us?
That provokes an awful, dead silence from City Hall. In fact and truth, we should try to prepare now for what is immediately following this vote, pass or fail: the godawful Cross Bayou Point “project,” set to cost $1 billion. Any recent pay-downs of total property tax have long been planned in full expectation of them soon going right back up.
© 2018 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED