Sunday, February 25, 2018 … 12:15 P.M.

I devoutly believe it is a rule by which people must live: we should never – ever – vote to tax ourselves unless and until our government is honest, with demonstrated respect for its citizens.

We should reward government with our hard-earned money ONLY when and if it aggressively fights corruption and financial waste, strives for excellence in delivery of services, and provably honors our financial sacrifice in funding it.

Such is certainly not an accurate description of Shreveport in its current condition.

City government deserves no vote of confidence.

From Mayor Tyler’s first utterances about this April 28th vote, she has consistently – and falsely – claimed these six property taxes are renewals.

These are NOT renewals, by even a conferred meaning of the word.

These taxes were in place for the five-year period 2013 through 2017, and legally “sunset,” died, last year.

In her op-ed in the totally on-her-side Shreveport Times nine days ago, Tyler put it this way:

“In 2017 the(se) taxes expired and we made the decision to only go out for the taxes when necessary and not before.”

… “Expired.”

Thus, the proposed millages would be NEW-on-the-books property taxes if we pass them … and a reward from our pocketbooks to this mayor’s way of doing our business.

We should therefore, and in good conscience, vote them down as the new taxes they are.

2. These new taxes would generate only 2.3% of the 2018 city budget: $11,294,056 of City Hall spending totaling $491,389,715.

3. The spending of that half-billion-dollars is now underway for 2018. NO city employees lose pay / benefits with a NO vote in April.

4. At this point, after the sunset of these 7.350-mills on December 31, 2017, our property tax millage total for this 2018 tax year is just under 29.00-mills.

5. If these new taxes – hikes – are voted down, property owners receive a like tax-cut for 2018, which our December 2018 City of Shreveport property tax notices could reflect.

6. Property taxation in Shreveport / Caddo is grossly unfair. A minority of us directly pay them, but about twice as many are legally allowed to vote them on us.

7. Local government very dishonestly forces us to repeatedly defeat taxes until dishonorable officials get their way … forcing us to pay for each such election.

8. What mayor will be elected this fall to spend this money: Tyler? Greg Tarver? Cedric Glover? Caddo Commissioner Steven Jackson? More of our money to any of these would prove dramatically contrary to our interests.

9. The combination of City of Shreveport, Caddo Parish School Board and Caddo Parish Commission property taxes remains at / near the highest in Louisiana.

10. Our mayor’s performance in her downtown sports complex sneak attack was an overt abuse of power. She allowed us but three weeks to study the mess, and gave us only the word of her City Attorney (not ours) that we had no right to vote on it.

There will be plenty of time after this fall’s mayoral election to consider our next mayor’s case for the now-rumored deluge of new taxes headed our way.

For now, on these taxes, a simple NO on April 28th is the necessary next-step for a newly responsive Shreveport.

… to be continued …

© 2018 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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