To some of us anti-tax types, the sentence Ben Franklin wrote to a friend in a 1789 letter is bedrock:

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

In that context, our Shreveport City Council will consider, on Tuesday, a resolution to raise pay for our police and fire personnel.

One Council member has publicly stated a preference for a property tax increase for that purpose. Others support pay packages which rely on existing revenue.

Let us be clear about this …

… in Shreveport, “death AND taxes” is not the subject.

… In Shreveport, the subject is “death BY taxes.”

Not only does Shreveport tax about one-third of us with some of the highest property taxes anywhere around, but our city is also maxed-out on sales taxes.

Worse yet, “maxed-out” on sales taxes may prove untrue: some tax junkies in local government and “leadership” are working right now to figure out a way to get the legislature to deep-six that law and specially green-light Shreveport for sales taxes higher than the legal limit elsewhere.

THE point is simple, and is one I have consistently written and spoken about publicly for the past decade: Shreveport cannot tax itself out of the hole it has and continues to dig for itself … much of that hole has been dug by high taxes!

Holy heck, people: raising taxes precisely when a surge of taxpayers moves out is, well, nuts.

Here and now, such is stone-cold municipal suicide!

If that is difficult to accept, consider this very basic arithmetic via U. S. Census data …

… Between 2000 and 2010, Shreveport lost -834 residents: a population drop from 200,145 down to 199,311 … -.4% (four-tenths of one percent).

… Between 2010 and 2019 (most recent data), Shreveport has lost -12,199 residents: a staggering loss of -6.1%.

SO …
… The population loss since 2010 has been more than 15-TIMES the loss between 2000 and 2010 …

… 15-TIMES, a stunning acceleration of out-migration in a decade.

At the admitted / accepted risk of offending someone, let me be clear: NO sane government / “leadership” ANYWHERE would raise taxes in any place choking to death on … taxes.

Consider this: in 2013, updated in July 2018, Gannett News published a telling article about Detroit’s death-by-taxes. Its title was “How Detroit Went Broke,” and here is the subject section:


(Detroit) city leaders tried repeatedly to reverse sliding revenue through new taxes. Despite a new income tax in 1962, a new utility tax in 1971 and a new casino revenue tax in 1999 — not to mention several tax increases along the way — revenue in today’s dollars fell 40% from 1962 to 2012. Higher taxes helped drive residents to the suburbs and drove away business. Today, Detroit still doesn’t take in as much tax revenue as it did just from property taxes in 1963.”

Either Shreveport stakes its future on living within its means or it has no future.

Period. End of sentence.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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