We found more. On May 4, 2012, the state announced International Paper would invest $44 million in their Bogalusa mill to retain 411 jobs. The state offered International Paper a $2.2 million tax credit and industrial tax exemptions. Remember, the state announced that deal on May 4.Meanwhile...
Two weeks later, on May 18, International Paper told the state it would lay off 64 workers at another plant in Louisiana.
“That's a terrible juxtaposition of events,” LeRoy says. “It suggests that they were holding back, perhaps, on the layoffs until after they got the award.”
International Paper sent this brief statement in response to our inquiries:
We received the state incentive only after committing to invest $30 million dollars in capital improvements at our Bogalusa mill. We appreciate the cooperation from the state and are proud to employ 2000 workers across Louisiana.
In 2008, the Commerce and Industry Board approved a tax break of $1,985,260 for Libbey Glass in Shreveport. State records show the company promised to create 46 new jobs. But they actually reduced their workforce by 147. Nonetheless, the board approved their tax break renewal and let Libbey continue to receive its incentive.
“I think, in this time and day when unemployment has been so high for so long, we shouldn't be paying companies to lay people off,” LeRoy says. “We call this ‘payoffs for layoffs.'”
Widespread layoffs, hundreds of classes eliminated, academic programs jettisoned and a flagship university that can’t compete with its peers around the nation — those are among the grim scenarios LSU leaders outlined in internal documents as the threat of budget cuts looms.We need to layoff everyone in the university system so that we can pay for all these tax incentives that go toward laying people off elsewhere. In it's own way, it has a certain elegance.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration is considering deep budget slashing to higher education for the fiscal year that begins July 1 to help close a $1.6 billion shortfall.
LSU campuses from Shreveport to New Orleans were asked to explain how a reduction between 35 percent and 40 percent in state financing — about $141.5 million to the university system — would affect their operations. The documents, compiled for LSU system President F. King Alexander, were obtained through a public records request.
The potential implications of such hefty cuts were summed up in stark terms: 1,433 faculty and staff jobs eliminated; 1,572 courses cut; 28 academic programs shut down across campuses; and six institutions declaring some form of financial emergency.
At the system’s flagship university in Baton Rouge, the documents say 27 percent of faculty positions would have to be cut, along with 1,400 classes, jeopardizing the accreditation of the engineering and business colleges. Some campus buildings would be closed.