BATISTE: Please, For The Love Of God, Vote No On Amendment #4

A constitutional amendment on the October ballot has disaster written all over it for New Orleans residents. Amendment 4 is disguised as an assist to help “promote” affordable housing in New Orleans. The legislation is flawed at best.

If approved, Amendment 4 would “authorize ad valorem tax exemptions in Orleans Parish to promote affordable housing.” Property with 15 or less residential units, excluding 30 day rentals, would qualify for partial or full tax exemption, or revert to the prior year’s assessment level.

(Amendment 4 is not to be confused with the City Council’s concoction to also control how New Orleans residents are taxed by separating the people from the millage level adjustments. That’s likely to be an issue next year that needs to be demolished.)

The proposed constitutional amendment “requires the City of New Orleans to absorb any decrease in the total amount of ad valorem taxes collected as a result of granting the exemption.” “The proposed constitutional amendment prohibits the granting of the exemption from creating additional tax liability for other property taxpayers as a result of subsequent reappraisals, valuations, or millage adjustments and prohibits implementation of the exemption from triggering the reappraisal of property or adjustment of millages.”

“We’re asking people to trust our government,” said Andreanecia Morris, president of the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance.

It only takes a sentence to highlight why no one should trust the New Orleans government: the new airport debacle, paving streets a foot higher than driveways, and anything to do with the Sewerage & Water Board should be all the reminder needed.

Not only is the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance asking people to trust an underperforming government, but the government is expecting homeowners that receive tax relief to then lower rent. That way the place is more affordable. This absurd legislation is based on giving tax breaks to a few and hoping the property owners pass it to their tenants.

No matter what the amendment says, the money to fund government has to come from somewhere. If Amendment 4 passes the city will reduce its property tax income and New Orleans.gov will need to fill the gap. That will come from the pockets of the huge number of taxpaying people who don’t receive the exemptions.

“Affordability is an issue in the city that affects all us,” said John Pourciau, chief of staff for Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s administration. Pourciau is dead on. And Cantrell and the City Council can immediately impact “affordability” by cutting their budgets, spending less money, and lowering taxes.

In reality, “affordable housing” is not something that affects “all us.” The phrase doesn’t describe the cost of living applied city-wide. It’s not a general application, it’s a very specific target. Affordable Housing is defined as “housing that can be afforded by those on low or median incomes; specifically housing made available to those on lower incomes at a price below normal market value, as the result of legislation or subsidy by a local authority or the state.”

The basic concept works: lower taxes and the government unburdens its people. However Amendment 4 is ultra-selective tax breaks with staggeringly vague stipulations that in the end depends on self-implementation by the property owners.

New Orleans needs money because the city is in poor condition after being run by Democrats for 300 years, and truly the last 50 years as the rest of America advances, the leadership has not adapted and the city’s infrastructure has decayed. Worse, in their search for money, the politicians only consider taxing residents. While the residents get crunched with taxes, the city has nothing to show for it. The problem is the Democrats that run New Orleans and Louisiana spend irresponsibly. If they curtailed their expenses and focused on reducing government, people who make lower wages would not be overloaded with taxes.

Conservative government operation would benefit more than a small group that essentially serves as government slaves, it would benefit everyone. But then Democrats would not be able to run their government plantations with poor people as chattel dependent on big brother.

The Democrat philosophy is like a ship out at sea going in big circles. The Democrat voters are passengers onboard with tickets they purchased waiting to be delivered to the promised destination while the boat keeps going around and around and around. The only way to get where they want to go is to jump off the Democrat boat. For some reason the poor people in America keep believing the Democrats will get them to their destination even though no evidence supports that.

It’s unfortunate when local journalists effectively act only as a microphone for liberal politicians and in doing so fail their viewers and readers. The WVUE story offered no opposing view. “The city government says this is good so we want you to know this is good.” When news media acts as a mouthpiece, regurgitating Democrat agendas without challenging or even questioning the impact of political changes, they erode public trust and rightfully earn the label Fake News.

Vote against Amendment 4 on October 12th. It’s not racial, it’s not discriminatory, it’s about responsibility and the need for elected officials to do better.

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