- Elliott Stonecipher
- Elliott Stonecipher
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 …. 9: 30 P.M.
The Saturday after next is election day. The Caddo Commission wants us to join with them to tax ourselves even more.
Again … and again and again. Always … and without end … amen.
Drowning in property taxes as we Caddoans infamously are, the Commission is the very essence of government of, by and for government.
Caddo Commissioners are in the “Tax ‘em ‘til they squeal!” business. Except they won’t stop after we squeal, either.
The property tax millages on this ballot have years remaining before they are to legally sunset – die. They told us they were 10-year taxes when some voted them in. Now they prove that wasn’t true.
I know of many ways to explain why we certainly do not want to pass these taxes. In fact, in an article two months ago, I explained some of those reasons in detail.
Here is that article, “CEASLESS BAD FAITH: Caddo Commission Plan to Raise, Extend Taxes” …
Here and now, I will explain even more mind-numbing reasons we should not give the Caddo Parish Commission any more of our money … for a long time.
The way to learn facts about local government financing is through the Louisiana Legislative Auditor. All public bodies must annually file with that agency their “CAFR” … Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
Local government bodies cannot pick and choose the data included in a CAFR, as many certainly do – our Caddo Commission included – with their own websites.
To well understand how cockamamie it would be to now give the Commission more of our money, here is a single data-point in its most recent 2015 CAFR:
… the Caddo Parish Commission is sitting on $165,429,379 in “Total Government Funds.” (SEE link below article.)
Let me further explain.
… Although it is true that “Total Government Funds” is not the same as cash and equivalents, a lot of it is. IN FACT, in cash, plus cash equivalents, plus federal government debt, the slosh at the Commission is $130,584,856.
… The Commission came to be flooded with so much taxpayer money in recent years by some combination of Haynesville Shale and Obama’s so-called “stimulus” glob.
… The Commission never even considered cutting our property and other taxes in response.
… The “Total Government Funds” bonanza equals $657.88 for each Caddo Parish resident. We cannot compare that to East Baton Rouge, Orleans or Lafayette parishes because they have consolidated city and parish government.
We can, however, compare it to these like police juries (parish governing bodies like the Commission):
— $547.44 in Bossier Parish,
— $487.40 in Rapides (Alexandria),
— $605.45 in Ouachita (Monroe / West Monroe).
My other four reasons to say NO to higher and extended Commission property taxes are these:
#1. When we give even more of our money to a government body already swimming in it, we feed systemic corruption, notably including in this case, a lot of Commissioner self-pay.
#2. The Commission is no “steward of the public trust.” Most Commissioners, as some of us have proven, are actually there as what I refer to as “stewards of me.”
#3. Why would Commissioners “need” to tamper with existing property tax millages with two or three years to run? The unknown (to us) truth cannot be good.
#4. There is never a right time to do a wrong thing.
It is wrong to aid and abet government corruption. When we do, we are as responsible as the corrupt. (At the Commission, any non-corrupt give the corrupt free rein.)
Simply, good and decent folks can no longer honestly deny the corruption there.
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
https://app.lla.state.la.us/…/C770DB3114…/$FILE/000107D9.pdf (Report page 113 / Browser page 135)