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Toll fight continues; treasurer slams Jindal budget; Gambit rips Gusman

Call this budget what you like: a fond illusion or smart accounting. The result will be the same: mid-year budget cuts for the sixth year in a row, because the budget is not balanced. Why should we care? Because making a college cut $10 million with six months left in the fiscal year is like a $20 million cut from day one. That shreds muscle, not fat.

The legislation has not been filed, but administration officials say they are looking at two bills. The first bill would repeal taxes on individual income, corporate income, and corporate franchise taxes, while increasing taxes on the sale of most goods, including cigarettes, eliminating tax exemptions on many services, and modifying other tax credit programs.

The problem is that if the repeals and tax increases are placed in different bills, the Legislature might only pass the repeal. Jindal would be forced to veto a tax cut, because it wouldn’t be revenue neutral and would necessitate draconian cuts in the budget.

But, combining the two issues means Bill 1 would need a two-thirds vote, or 70 in the House and 26 in the Senate. “It’s tough to get to 70 on anything in the Legislature. And it’ll be tougher this year, because you are, by definition, raising taxes on some people, while cutting them for others,” [Jan Moller, director of the Louisiana Budget Project]  said.


 [Executive Director of Port Fourchon, Chett Chiasson] stated that the only reason the Wisner land has any real value to it is because of the Port itself.  He then went on to say that if it went up for sale the Port would most likely be forced to act but — and this is a really big but — they would not expect to purchase the land at market value because the Port is the only real catalyst that drives the value of the land in the first place. What does that mean? I think he was suggesting the State of Louisiana may be forced to exercise eminent domain over the property if the City of New Orleans is intent on carving it up and selling it.

Danatus King, president of the New Orleans branch of the NAACP, said Thursday that he was “disturbed, highly concerned and alarmed” by the mayor’s comments about the consent decree being unnecessary. … “The citizens recognize there is a need for the consent decree and up until recently, the administration realized that there was a need for the consent decree. … The consent decree addresses issues such as excessive use of force by the department. That’s directly related to public safety.”

King pointed to the Feb. 12 incident during which two Black teenagers were assaulted by nine plainclothes state police and a plainclothes NOPD officer in the French Quarter, an incident recorded by a crime camera. “The consent decree recognizes the problem of reporting in the NOPD,” King said. “We’ve had a problem with falsification of reports in the department. We see that still occurring with this most recent incident. There was physical force that was used on those young men, there was an NOPD officer that was present — there should have been a report.”

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About Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and the Federal Flood he helped create the Rising Tide conference, which grew into an annual social media event dedicated to the future of New Orleans.