PERKINS GARBAGE PLAN SKIPS VOTER APPROVAL OF TAX HIKE
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 … 9:13 A.M.
No, and sadly, the honest among us in Shreveport are in no way surprised.
What fledgling Mayor Adrian Perkins is now set to do, before he even knows his way around City Hall, is a standard kick in our financial heads by his political party.
Among the 81.5% of registered voters in Shreveport who did NOT vote for Perkins to run our city, I bet most of them knew to expect this loathsome introduction to his, uh, thinking.
What is a surprise, however, are both the size of his intended walloping – $18-a-month / $216 a year … $14,000,000 annually to City Hall – AND the apparent illegality of one of its two parts.
To put the $14,000,000 in perspective, it would pay for 210 additional Uniform Division Shreveport Police Department officers … a 46% jump in the force on our streets. (SEE data, Item 1, below.)
Instead, Perkins will annually score …
… $8.4 million from his garbage fee, and
… $5.6 million additional cash, which he says will go into reserves, but we will never know.
Strangely, Perkins cannot seem to soak taxpayers fast enough! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
Sworn into office on December 29th, Mayor Perkins rolled this plan out in a Shreveport Times opinion piece on January 16th …
… 18 days into his term.
Perkins now wants the City Council to approve this mash-up on February 12th, far too quickly.
Perhaps the rush is because Perkins is simply too inexperienced to understand what it means, but the City Council cannot rightfully approve one of the two parts of this plan.
Yes, the City Council may approve the fee, but we the people are to approve or disapprove any and all taxes … those from Perkins included.
To be clear, I defer to the way the highly respected Tax Foundation explains what is a “tax” or a “fee.” (SEE link below) …
… “TAXES are imposed for the primary purpose of raising revenue, with the resultant funds spent on general government services.”
… “FEES are imposed for the primary purpose of covering the cost of providing a service, with the funds raised directly from those benefitting from a particular provided service.
Then, later in the article, the Tax Foundation adds …
… “In situations where a tax case could be resolved either way, or where a tax statute could have two possible interpretations, all states except one, Oregon, have adopted a rule that such ambiguity IS RESOLVED IN FAVOR OF THE TAXPAYER (emphasis mine). This rule is of particular importance when a local government or special district is imposing a tax but does not have proper state permission to do so.”
Put simply, Perkins’ $5.6 million would fund no known “service,” and thus is NOT a fee.
Given that the $5.6 million has a “primary purpose of raising revenue” with eventual spending on “general government services,” it is a TAX … approval of which belongs to lowly Shreveporters who are hit by it.
Mayor Perkins must present the City Council – and we the people – with whatever independent legal opinion he has which deems the $5.6 million a “fee.”
HINT: In Shreveport, the City Attorney is NOT independent of Mayor Perkins or the Council.
The Mayor dishonors himself, the taxpayers, and the City of Shreveport by hurrying approval of this deeply flawed proposition.
© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
1. In the 2018 City of Shreveport Budget, the 456 Uniform Services Division officers cost taxpayers a total of $30,423,300 … $66,717.75 per officer “on the street.” An additional 210 officers would cost $14,010,730 annually. Document Page 162: https://www.shreveportla.gov/…/2018ProposedAnnualOperating_…
2. Tax Foundation: