Group outlines state’s Reverse Robinhood Index

Cameron and Calcasieu parishes are among the top 10 in Louisiana whose residents would benefit from returning Industrial Tax Exempt Program properties to the tax rolls at the end of their 10-year term, according to a new study.

Released by the Baton Rouge-based nonprofit Together Louisiana, the “Louisiana Reverse Robinhood Index” ranks Cameron Parish first, with millage rates being reduced from 148 mills to 5 mills. Calcasieu Parish ranks ninth, with rates being reduced from 108 mills to 20 mills.

The study is based on the assumption that the additional tax revenue would result in a default “rollback” of taxing bodies’ property taxes as outlined under state law. The amounts are calculated over time as the properties come on the tax rolls.

For Cameron Parish, the rollback would result in an average savings of $1,841 for homeowners and $2,952 for business owners. Homeowners in Calcasieu Parish would save $515, while business owners would save $1,461.

Index

The Reverse Robinhood Index, a figure based on the Louisiana Tax Commission’s 2018 Annual Report, quantifies potential millage savings that could be returned to taxpayers if ITEP beneficiaries are not granted extended terms beyond the original 10-year limit. The resulting difference is a Reverse Robinhood Millage, or an aggregate figure as if all properties were to return to the rolls the same year.

Quentin Anderson, communications director for the Southern Institute for Public Institute for Public Life, said the study is not an attempt to eradicate Louisiana’s ITEP program. Instead, it seeks to shed light on the “highway robbery” occurring in some parishes in the state, he said.

“What we want folks to understand is the areas you represent are in some cases being robbed,” Anderson said. “Sometimes it’s not legal highway robbery, but it’s happening in broad daylight.”

Differing impacts

The data represented in the index spans a range of reversals, with some parishes seeing extreme differences and others only modest changes. The effects in communities with the highest disparities can be seen in a lack of public funding for basic necessities, such as infrastructure, schools and housing, Anderson said.

“Our report shows in some parishes that balance is overwhelmingly out of whack in favor of industry against these communities having the resources they need,” he said. “You can drive through and see the lack of public resources, and some are getting millions and billions in tax breaks.”

Anderson said the study’s developers are pushing for a “sensible incentive program that fairly balances the need of each individual parish and municipality.”

“We understand incentives work, but there’s a difference in bending over backwards and incentive,” he said. “If we’re more strict and more sensitive to local concerns, we think we can really strike that fair balance.”

The index, Anderson said, was created to end blanket approval of ITEP applications, especially for expansions and capital gain projects that do not produce new jobs or additional long-term revenue for communities.

“We want to make sure it’s strictly for things that bring new business and new jobs,” he said.


 

To view the full report visit, www.togetherlouisiana.com.

””Reverse Robinhood””Reverse Robinhood 2

Crime

Three LC men arrested in Bossier City robbery of Sulphur man

National News

War fears mount as US draws down Ukraine embassy presence

Local News

Living the Dream: Starks native advises others to ‘sieze every opportunity’

Local News

COVID closures continue to impact childcare providers

Local News

SW La. school lunch menus Jan. 24-28

Local News

Informer: No new mask mandate from governor

Local News

Calcasieu cleanup: Debris in drainage laterals being cleared

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: What’s next for casting votes?

Local News

Andrew Gallien: Called to share the ‘love and knowledge of God’

Local News

SW La. students named to Northwestern State president’s list

Local News

Jeff Davis scales back on Elton Elementary renovations

Business

SW La. has been fostering budding entrepreneurs for decade

Local News

Calcasieu Police Jury votes on zoning requests

Crime

Deputies searching for driver in Moss Bluff hit-and-run

Local News

United Way of SW La. sheltering community members in area hotels

Crime

1/21: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

Sulphur man accused of stealing $367,000 from nonprofit

Local News

Cassidy touts SW La. benefits of infrastructure bill

Local News

Hurst-Trahan: Job lets her focus on her passion – helping people

Local News

Jeff Davis School Board declares critical shortage for several positions

Local News

Below-freezing temperatures expected throughout weekend

Local News

Learn to Drive the Bus class scheduled for next week

Local News

Jeff Davis school campuses closed Friday

Local News

Tire fire at shuttered facility leads to prison evacuation