Sunday, August 23, 2020, 2:13 P.M.

Waking up yesterday confirmed my somewhat new, daily routine: ‘get going with coffee and my laptop, along with a quiet prayer that the “news” not be too bad.

“Well-aged” as I am, that prayer is more necessary each day. Nowadays, there are more and more and more people busily scheming to separate us from our hard-earned money.

The more or less hidden leadership in my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, is an excellent example. It is truly addicted to taxing us … even if it effectively kills our place.

In fact, recent local headlines scream the abject nuttiness of their tax-and-spend religion.

Three weeks ago, national insurance resource, “AdvisorSmith,” announced that Shreveport is …

… the “second-fastest shrinking city” in the nation.

Our daily paper reported on that report, and added these facts:
— “From 2014-2019, Shreveport’s population shrunk from 198,259 residents to 187,112.
— Shreveport’s population shrunk by an average of 1.15% per year, compared with average growth of 0.8% for midsize cities.”
Regardless any of this, our City Council held its two regularly scheduled meetings this past week, and our local paper’s reports from the two yet again spotlighted the taxation insanity.

Here are notable sections of the newspaper’s reporting …

… “(Chief Administrative Officer Henry) Whitehorn mentioned the ad valorem (property) tax legislation that’s on Tuesday’s agenda, saying that a small increase in that tax could generate $3.4 million:

‘All of the departments have expressed a need that we’re not able to accommodate,’ Whitehorn said. ‘Not necessarily in pay, but in equipment and other areas of concern. The administration has always been in favor of police and fire receiving an increase. We’ve never, not been in support of that but we’re also in favor of all of our employees receiving an increase in pay.’”

Then, there is this from Republican City Councilman John Nickelson …

… “‘I’m really concerned with the way we distribute the revenue burden as we solve this problem,’ Nickelson said. ‘A sales tax like a public safety fee is also regressive. So, for that reason, I hope that we can consider – if we all agree that additional revenue is needed – the possibility of dedicated property taxes to fund public safety. That’s something that many other communities do and something that I think will work quite well to address this problem.’”

Any notion of cutting spending was avoided like Covid-19.

It is ours in Shreveport to hand our money over to every sort of budget-related corruption no matter how dramatically fewer is our number of residents / taxpayers.

Shreveport / Caddo infamously sits near the very peak of property tax rates in our state and region, and long has. That fact has driven thousands of (higher-income) residents away, yet City Hall continues to worship at that altar.

NOW, many of us believe, is the time to CUT SPENDING AS NECESSARY to fund significant police pay raises … which Shreveport last did in 2002. As crime worsens, our police force shrinks. Competitive pay is no fix-all, but certainly is the logical starting point.

Of course, that would require “leaders” to – for the first time – honor we who pay the tab.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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