- Elliott Stonecipher
Sunday, May 14, 2017 … 11:00 A.M.
Since the Caddo Parish Commission was beaten in its April 29th election to raise and extend a list of its property taxes – while sitting on a $120,000,000+ mega-pile of taxpayer money – it has yet to cease its scapegoating and other propaganda.
Perhaps nothing more proves that point than the never-ending refrain of some Commissioners that the propositions did not increase the awful tax load carried by Caddo property owners.
As I detailed in my first, February 19th, article about these tax offenses, the four property taxes totaled 6.39-mills. When Caddo taxpayers earlier approved them, that total was 6.01-mills. This would have been an increase of 38-mills … a raise of 6.3%.
Again, use of the word “renewal” is nowadays an incantation from taxation darkness. The term of these taxes, from the jump, was 10 years. Thus, at the end of that term – which is a part of the legal description of the bond – the tax “sunsets” … DIES.
Too, it goes without saying that a tax is not “renewed” when its rate and term are changed. These taxes will not sunset for varying numbers of years.
No Commissioner voted against putting these higher and extended taxes on the ballot.
Voting “AYE” were John Atkins, Steven Jackson, Ken Epperson, Mario Chavez, Mike Middleton, Doug Dominick, Jim Smith, Lynn Cawthorne and Lyndon B. Johnson. Matthew Linn, Jerald Bowman and Stormy Gage-Watts bailed from the vote.
WHO CARRIED THE BALL FOR THE CADDO COMMISSION?
A person-less entity – a limited liability company – was formed as a front for those sponsoring this campaign. Named “Put Caddo First,” it attempted to do precisely the opposite.
As shown in an ad they paid for in the “Shreveport Sun,” groups which owned-up to their push to raise / extend these taxes were:
Shreveport Chamber of Commerce
Shreveport-Bossier African-American Chamber of Commerce
North Louisiana Economic Partnership
Caddo-Bossier Port Commission
Caddo District Attorney James Stewart
The Shreveport Committee of 100, Inc., endorsed the taxes in a Shreveport Times op-ed. Other unelected powerbrokers aggressively campaigned for the tax increases, but are prohibited by their tax status from being caught doing so.
WHO PUT UP THE MONEY FOR THIS TAX-HIKING CONCOCTION?
Legally required campaign finance records of the Louisiana Ethics Administration show who bank-rolled this campaign. Contributing more than $100 were:
$ 10,000 … Franks Management Company, LLC
$ 5,000 … Stuart J Lichter
$ 2,500 … Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc.
$ 1,500 … Rick Holland / Gibsland Bank & Trust
$ 1,000 … Wilhite Solar Solutions, LLC
$ 400 … Sandi Kallenberg
$ 200 … Jeffrey Kallenberg
$ 250 … Markey Pierre’
$ 250 … John Albritton
$ 150 … Linda Goldsberry
Officers of Franks Management Company, LLC, as shown by records of the Louisiana Secretary of State, are Bobby E. Jelks and Faith Gilbert.
Stuart Lichter, as I noted Friday, is at the heart of the Elio Motors / G.M. Plant deal now dogging Caddo taxpayers, thanks to our wayward Caddo Commission. I infer from his $5,000 for this op that he has a very close relationship with our downtown political bosses.
Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc., is the Port of Caddo-Bossier engineering firm. It is now engineering the Stage 1 Feasibility Study for the Hwy. 3132 Extension, as well as the Port’s intended “megasite” developments, one of which must somehow mesh with the Extension … or not.
Officers of Wilhite Solar Solutions, LLC, are Tim Wilhite and Ken Antee. The latter is a long-time Shreveport pol, now on the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission Advisory Board, an op of ex-Mayor Cedric Glover. Also on that board is former Caddo Commissioner John Escude.
Markey Pierre’ was the political consultant for the campaign. John Albritton is a Caddo Parish School Board member.
The support of these taxes by the Port of Caddo-Bossier – also a taxer – is an excellent example of our community’s losing bet that “government of, by and for government” ever works.
… more later …
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED