Some of them, though, start off bad and just get worse from there.
Many cities and parishes already hire contractors for this work, but a recent court decision has called this legal arrangement into question. The amendment would make clear that such business deals are allowed. It would permit a contractor’s fee up of up to 10 percent, though that figure could change.
The amendment would be a boon for Archon Information Systems, which already has contracts with nearly half of the state’s parishes and two dozen cities, including New Orleans. An arm of the state Municipal Association also would benefit financially.
The relationship between Archon and the Louisiana Municipal Association is close. Archon has a deal that provides income to a for-profit subsidiary of the Louisiana Municipal Association, and the subsidiary essentially works as a marketing agent for the company. That arrangement is dependent on Archon’s continued ability to provide its services. And Archon is the biggest contributor to the association’s PAC.
By eliminating any uncertainty as to whether such privatizing of tax collections is authorized by state law, Amendment No. 3 will cement millions of dollars worth of contracts Archon already has with local governments throughout the state and let the company continue to expand.
One state legislator told The Lens he thinks Archon may be the main reason the proposal is going to state voters.