- Elliott Stonecipher
- Adrian Perkins
Friday, March 8, 2019 … 9:41 A.M.
As I write, Shreveporters expect our City Council to soon vote on a whittled-down version of Mayor Adrian Perkins’ tax hike attempt – he studiously calls it a “fee” – for garbage collection.
Here are an easy five reasons for the City Council to vote down any version of this thing.
1. This is a tax, and Perkins calling it a “fee” to stomp out our right to vote on it, well, stinks. As I detailed in my January 22nd article (SEE link #1, below), the highly respected Tax Foundation explanation of a “tax” versus a “fee” is very clear.
2. Among millions of others, I am a card-carrying believer in the work of the late Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. He well expressed a golden rule of taxation …
… “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”
Taxpayers here and everywhere are owed … yes, owed, since it is OUR money … a good faith effort by legislators to cut graft and other waste before grabbing a penny more of our money.
3. Perkins and his handlers dishonor this new City Council.
To honestly fulfill their duty to check and balance the mayor’s ill-will toward taxpayers, all City Council members must have time to study our city’s actual – not politically alleged – financial condition.
Since a majority of our Council members have been in office a mere two months and one week, there is NO way they can yet know that … which is what Perkins intended.
4. The real and true author of this so-called “plan” remains unknown.
Yes, Perkins threw this mess on the public table before Council members knew their seating arrangement. Who decided to do this now … this way … in such a hurry?
Notably, some Council members speak as if they likewise know far more than others. New Councilman John Nickelson told KSLA-TV’s Melissa Kakareka …
… “I also what to reiterate that the general fund cannot continue to subsidize solid waste collection. We simply can’t afford that.”
How does he know what “we” can afford? With due respect, no Council member – particularly no newly elected one – can yet possibly know any such thing based on their own study.
This we do know: Shreveport and other cities annually submit their Comprehensive Financial Annual Reports (“CAFR”) to the Legislative Auditor. Our city’s most recent one (for fiscal year 2017, SEE link #2 below) totals 172-pages.
The city’s (political) Annual Budget is posted on its website, and runs 555-pages.
The mayor and Council members have barely had time to scroll through these documents, if they intend to do so.
5. Taxpayers have no clue what Perkins’ additional tax revenue would actually pay for.
Oh, yes, our local “leaders” have no doubt told Perkins and “their” Council members, but not taxpayers or independent Council members. And, if the city’s reserve fund actually proves to have anything to do with this, it is likely nothing that honest folks will like.
Finally, and no matter anything else, our sanitation workers are being used. We now know their raises actually require only $400,000 a year, not many millions. Honorable City Hall folks owe them their pay raise now.
© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
1. Tax Foundation … tax or fee … from Stonecipher article, January 22, 2019:
2. City of Shreveport Comprehensive Annual Financial Report: