Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Municipal finance reform

This is BGR's pet project so it's worth noting that the mayor is signaling at least a measure of support here.
As Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Legislature try to right the state's finances, Landrieu repeated his call that a larger share of gambling, hotel-motel and sales taxes generated in New Orleans remain within the city limits rather than head to Baton Rouge. He also agreed with BGR that New Orleans' own tax policies and priorities should be reexamined.

The watchdog group in a November report had questioned the spending rationale of a government that dedicates more than four times the tax dollars to tourism and sports as it does to potholes and broken streetlights.

BGR's "analysis of the money coming into the city and the money going out of the system is exactly right," Landrieu said. Over time, tax prioritizing "all gets out of balance and it gets all out of whack and it doesn't make any sense."
But he was there to sell them on yet another dedicated tax millage for police and fire services so who knows how sincere he is.  And that's fine, I'm not convinced BGR's notion that we should just blow up the whole thing and start all over is such a great idea anyway. But it will be fun to talk about when they finally release a report on the matter.

Mitch also couldn't help but tell them this.
At another point he pushed the audience members to be more involved in the city's school system, which he predicted could return to the Orleans Parish School Board from state control within the next three years.

"You've got to make sure that when those schools come back here that the School Board that's in place, that the individuals that are elected to run that School Board, and the structure that they have to run, and the governance model is exactly right, or we will lose ground on probably the most — oh no, clearly the most significant building block that's going to help New Orleans go forward because everything has to go through the schoolhouse door," Landrieu said.
Which raises the question, is that even really going to be true anymore?  In a city we're turning over to tourists and part-time residents where nobody actually lives, does it really matter that much if there are any schools? 

No comments: