Not getting the job done!
“Significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Einstein
It is abundantly clear that those we have elected to lead our state only solutions to Louisiana’s chronic fiscal problems are “faith-based” rather than secular. That is, their specific solutions fall under the headings of “trust me” “hope” and “prayer.”
Nobody has asked for my solutions to these problems. Given the vacuum of leadership, as a citizen of this state I have a right and a responsibility to offer suggestions to those we elect to lead our state and local governments.
This is both a short-term and long-term fiscal solution as well as making Louisiana the most economically-attractive state in America. The plan finally rejects the fiscal polices initially put into place by Governors Huey and Earl Long.
This is not a pick and choose list. It’s an all-or-nothing list.
–Repeal ALL of the tax exemptions in the state constitution (Homestead, Industrial, Sales and Use, Personal Income Tax, etc.) and ALL in the statutes.
–Repeal ALL of the constitutionally-mandated state payments to local government, i.e., supplemental pay for police, fire and deputy sheriffs.
Revenue sharing with local governments will be unnecessary because there will be no state-imposed Homestead Exemption to reimburse.
–Rollback ALL (state and local) tax rates to level at which the existing taxes will only bring in the amount projected for FY16 (begins July 1).
This NOT tax neutral; it is revenue neutral. In other words, some taxpayers may pay more, but most will pay less.
–Allow local taxing entities by a 2/3s vote of the governing board to roll-forward mileage up to the previously-authorized (by the voters) tax rates to pay for local services including the debt service on local bonds currently paid by the state.
–Constitutionally, prohibit state revenues from being spent on local functions, including capital construction and Non-Governmental Entities (“NGOs”).
If an NGO is important to the local government, they will have the revenues to fund them.
–Eliminate the Department of Economic Development that administer the special tax exemptions which will no longer exist and the slush funds used to bribe businesses to come to Louisiana.
A small marketing unit under the Lt. Governor to advertise to businesses, individuals and tourists how tax-friendly Louisiana has become.
–To provide budgetary flexibility, repeal all constitutionally-dedicated funds and constitutionally-prohibit the enactment of statutorily dedicated funds. This will allow the lege the freedom to set real priorities.
The above actions will free up enough state money to eliminate or make manageable the impending revenue shortfall, plus adequately-fund essential state functions such as higher education, healthcare and highways.
Because Louisiana will have the most business-friendly tax code in America, future revenue growths to operate state and local government will come expanded economic development not higher taxes or reduced services.
If you bothered to read my suggestions, rather than shooting them or the messenger down, propose your own OVERALL solution. I’ll be happy to post it on my website.
To all the elected officials in Louisiana: Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. Failing that, don’t ask me to vote to elect or reelect you.
For mere citizens like me: Present the above plan to everyone who asks for your vote this Fall. If they don’t support it; ask for their SPECIFIC OVERALL plan.
Our very way of life in Louisiana depends on our holding our public officials accountable.
“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill