Just Talkin’ Lagniappe for April 13

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JT doesn’t know our new State Treasurer…the one who took U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s spot… but he sounds a lot like Kennedy. When talking about the state’s finances, Treasurer John Schroder said government could benefit from voting for more business minded people in public office. He explained the problem is Louisiana is a big taker state.  He said there are a lot of people who rely on government in this state for their survival and it’s a shame. According to Schroder, government is to the point where it keeps taking, taking, taking.  It never lives to play another day or live at all. Sure sounds to JT that he is on target.

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Speaking of state finances, JT has thought for a long time the homestead exemption is hurting a lot of our rural parishes. Currently, the first $75,000 value of your home is exempt from taxes. Homestead exemption is one of those “Sacred Cows” in Louisiana politics. Elected officials are afraid to touch it because they affect so many people. JT, and others, believe that by lowering it to, say the first $25,000, it would generate extra monies for parish infrastructure needs which we all know is rapidly deteriorating. In visiting with Sen. Gerald Long the other day, Long suggested we might be better served by switching the exemption around. By that, he suggested instead of taxing the value over $75,000 we look at taking the value on the front end. For example, say tax the first $25,000 – $50,000 value of the home and exempt the rest. It would certainly put everyone who owns a home paying some tax.

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The idea of a $500 fine for littering is a huge step forward in helping keep our city clean and Mayor Lee Posey did a good job in explaining why it’s so important. There was one fact that JT couldn’t find in the fight on litter. That was how many tickets have actually been issued and prosecuted in the city for littering? Not sure what steps the city has taken on the anti-littering effort, but certainly the first step would be to instruct officers to start writing tickets. Without enforcement a littering law would be useless.