DuBos: New Orleanians should be able to vote on tax increases

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu wants state lawmakers to let the mayor and City Council ask voters for tax increases, to pay for court judgments against the city. That’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

NEW ORLEANS -- Nobody likes to be standing downwind when the fertilizer hits the oscillator. But that’s where Mayor Mitch Landrieu finds himself these days.

Several long-simmering problems are coming to a head all at once, and each one is expensive. They include federal consent decrees to reform the New Orleans Police Department and Orleans Parish Prison, and a judgment in favor of New Orleans firefighters’ pension fund.

All told, those items could cost the city $40 million a year or more.

The mayor said the city can’t meet those obligations without drastic cuts and layoffs. He’s asking state lawmakers to let him ask voters for several tax increases.

Whether tax increases are necessary, and how much is justified, are questions that voters should decide. For now, the mayor needs state lawmakers to let the city put those questions to New Orleans voters.

I’m not endorsing any taxes, but I do think voters are the best ones to decide how to resolve issues that have been postponed for too long.

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