- Elliott Stonecipher
- Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator
Sunday, June 25, 2017 … 12:22 P.M.
Responding to emailed questions I asked, Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator has not yet decided if he will “roll-forward” – which is to say, raise – the property tax we pay for his department.
Should he proceed with the increase, the tax will go up to 13.41-mills from the current 13.15.
(SEE link below for an Investopedia article about “mills,” “ad valorem” taxes, etc.)
I, as many readers are aware, am opposed to anything but reductions in our property taxes.
Of the 248,851 people the Census Bureau reports as living in Caddo Parish, 78.3% of us live in Shreveport … where property taxes are the highest in Louisiana, and higher than in many other locales in our multi-state region.
By law, Sheriff Prator has sole authority to increase the property tax via “roll-forward” – with no voter approval – but he must first hold a “public hearing” on the matter.
He has set the hearing for Tuesday, July 25th, 9:30 AM, at Government Plaza in Shreveport, as is posted on caddosheriff.org, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) website.
The Shreveport City Council recently approved Mayor Ollie Tyler’s like property tax increase via millage “roll-forward” when Republican James Flurry joined with four council Democrats to pass her tax hike. (SEE link below for my related May 23rd article.)
Earlier, the Caddo Parish Commission threw its like property tax “roll-forwards” into a mess of multi-year extensions and hikes, but Caddo voters rejected all those propositions in an April 29th election. (SEE link below for my related April 30th article.)
According to its most recent – July 1, 2015 / June 30, 2016 – annual report filed with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, of all CPSO money, 63% comes from our property tax bills. (SEE link to subject LLA report, below.)
Here are some of the many moving parts in the “roll-forward” Prator now ponders:
… Last year, as law dictates, the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor conducted its every-four-years reassessment of the total value of parish homes and other taxable property.
… Regardless of any other factors, the 13.41-mill tax to CPSO dropped to 13.15-mills, BUT …
… State law allows taxing authorities to “roll-forward” any property tax millage (13.15-mills in this case) to “… rates not to exceed the prior year’s maximum.”
… The “prior year’s maximum” which Prator now considers is 13.41-mills, or .26-mills higher than property owners paid last year.
Sheriff Prator estimates CPSO will net another $440,000 each year.
The extra cost to any given homeowners would likely be tens-of-dollars, but “affordability” is neither here nor there … not anymore.
What matters, we will soon learn, is that allowing government to shrink our pocketbooks – rather than shrinking its own spending (of our money) – can be, effectively, community suicide.
Taxpayers, after all, can and are often tax-abused into moving away from a place … a lesson Caddo government should have learned the last time our oil & gas patch took a body-blow.
Since Sheriff Prator took office on July 1, 2000, the population of Caddo Parish has dropped from 252,161 to 248,851, or -1.3%.
That loss is more than merely distinctive, and screams for official notice and public discussion, but not here, and infamously so.
Excepting hurricane-devastated parishes Orleans, St. Bernard, Cameron, and Plaquemines, twenty-eight (28) parishes, including Caddo, lost population since 2000.
The largest current population in any of these is 83,883, in St. Landry … only one-third the population size of Caddo Parish.
In fact, among parishes which are urban centers, only Caddo and Katrina-hammered Orleans lost population over those sixteen (16) years.
Regardless of our shrinking population – and, more notably, shrinking count of property tax payers – the CPSO take of our property taxes increased +34.2% in that period …
… from a June 30, 2001, inflation-adjusted $17,008,159, to $22,832,700 on June 30, 2016.
(SEE link below for subject LLA report below. Inflation adjustment +39.5%.)
In truth, this is not about a lone “roll-forward” of one of our very long list of property taxes.
Some of us have lived this local history before, and now is a good time to spotlight it.
… To be continued …
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
“Millage,” and related article:
Tyler / City Council millage increase article:
Caddo Parish Commission attempted tax increase article:
2015-2016 CPSO report, LA Legislative Auditor, SEE Browser Page 7:
2000-2001 CPSO report, LA Legislative Auditor, SEE Browser Page 4: