Mayor Holden, Once Again: NO NEW Taxes! Wednesday, Jul 16 2008 

no_taxes2

Know how to talk voters in to saying yes to a tax package during financially troubling times?  Dangle a bunch of carrots in front of them in hopes they will get so caught up in the carrots they will forget about the taxes.

Taxpayers are now being enticed to vote for Holden’s massive tax plan with another carrot:  a downtown museum, riverwalk, aquarium and theme park.  Holden says this will improve the quality of life for EBRP citizens.

Never mind the first 15 minutes of the news announcing the murders of the day or the bullets in your neighborhood and home invasions on the rise.  The tax package takes care of that also, because you are going to pay to build a new prison that will make space for more of those annoying criminals.

Holden will also get a renovated office with your tax dollars which will update the governmental building.  All of this wrapped up in more carrots that include a couple fire stations, a public safety building (new offices for the police and sheriff headquarters), and some traffic light synchronizations.  Just enough enticements to sell you on digging deeper into your pocketbook.

The $989 million tax package will be paid by a 1/2 cent increase in sales tax and a 9.9 mill property tax for homeowners.  And you only have to pay the new tax increase for the next 30 years!

DeSoto Park will require an additional $45 to $55 million in improvements that are not included in the tax package.  Holden hopes to convince the Governor to fund this project.  Forget about the fact that the Governor is already cutting the fat in our state budget this week. 

Since 2002 DeSoto Park was marked as a potential park location.  It has been a tangled web of issues surrounding funding, ownership and lack of priority with the state of Louisiana and legislature.  What makes Holden think he can change those issues with his tax package?

UPDATE:  Today Mayor Holden and ‘shadow mayor’ Walter Monsour became indignant when the Metro Council asked for more time to review the plan.  Kudos to Councilman David Bonneno who led the charge for more details, more time and thought into Holden’s tax plan.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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Mayor Holden: NO NEW TAXES! Tuesday, Jul 15 2008 

Mayor-President Kip Holden introduced his proposed tax package today with what he claims is the first of three announcements.  His tax plan, wrapped up with a nice red bow, promised two new downtown hotels and parking lots. 

This is all so confusing given that just last week developer Richard Preis announced his plans to build a downtown hotel with 300 hotel rooms, condos and retail space – a $135 million development. 

Now Holden proposes two more hotels in downtown wrapped up in his tax package.  I’ve seen some creative tax packages before, but this one might take the cake in trying to convince voters to pay more taxes!

Holden reminds me of legislators asking for a pay raise this past session by sending a subtle message to the taxpayers:  If you don’t pass the tax I’m proposing, then you won’t get the two new hotels.  Politics as usual.  The tax proposal also announces an expansion of the BR River Center including two new parking lots and 36,000 additional square feet of meeting space. 

Any way Holden packages his tax plan, it will be a difficult sale to voters who are struggling at the gas pump and grocery store.  Fees and taxes for voters of EBR Parish have continually increased since Holden was elected Mayor-President. 

The next few days should be interesting to see what other enticements Holden plans to sell us in exchange for raising our taxes.  No matter how he packages his tax plan, taxes are taxes are taxes.  How about scrubbing the budget Kip?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

4 Candidates to vie for EBRP Mayor Sunday, Jul 13 2008 

The race for Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish is officially on for 2008.  Four candidates have announced their intention to run including:

Current Mayor-President Kip Holden kicked off his re-election bid a couple months ago.  He is often referred to as an absentee landlord since the reigns of city-parish government were turned over to Walter Monsour by Holden.  Monsour’s nickname is the ‘shadow mayor’.  Holden’s record shows he is a tax-and-spend liberal democrat proven by his actions while in office.  Just a few include: 

  • Holden raised sewer fees
  • Holden raised garbage and recycling fees
  • Holden raised the fees for bus riders of the transit system
  • Holden spent $130,000 to fund the International Heritage Festival, Fest for All, and Blues Fest
  • Holden raised taxes for his Green Light Project (which has not solved our traffic woes)
  • Holden spent more $$ for studies for proposed projects than in the history of EBRP
  • Holden paid the Chamber of Commerce $1 million to create economic development projects (a job they are supposed to do without additional funding from voters) Note:  This resulted in the Chamber endorsing Holden for his re-election bid.
  • Holden increased the spending budget for 2008 by 9.5% (never mind that they project another income increase in 2008 of $22-$25 million due to increased sales taxes or the fact that EBRP had a $41 million surplus from 2006)
  • Holden has steadily increased the city-parish spending/budget as follows:
    • $592 million in 2006
    • $621 million in 2007
    • $672 million in 2008

Metro-Council member and business owner, republican Wayne ‘Spider’ Carter, announced his plans for candidacy including addressing a growing crime rate and no new taxes.  Carter has been an outspoken opponent of Holden.  Carter says he brings his business savvy and experience as a metro-council member to the table as a viable candidate.  Holden can expect Carter to continue to express his disapproval of Holden’s inadequacies.

Former EBR Parish School Board Member and defense attorney, democrat Ron Johnson, shocked everyone when he signed up this week as a candidate for mayor.  Nevertheless, Johnson has been quoted in the past as also saying that Holden is a tax-and-spend liberal.  Johnson is brother to Judge Ron Johnson.  No agenda has been announced to date by Johnson, but rumors are abounding that this could be Cleo Field’s candidate.  Time will tell.

Former BREC Board Member and former Legislative Auditor, republican Dan Kyle, announced his candidacy for mayor this week.  Kyle had previously hinted as to a run while criticizing the tax-and-spend democratic agenda Holden has shown for the past 3 1/2 years.  Kyle is known for his calm demeanor, but bull-dog approach to excessive spending and political agendas.  He could be a force to be reckoned with in this race.

I highly encourage voters to take a strong look at all of the candidates as this race unfolds.  I believe it is time for new leadership.  Holden does have charisma, but it takes less spending, no new taxes, and decreases in our crime and traffic woes to impress the voters.  We are not interested in a mayor who is a good motivational speaker.  We are interested in a mayor that will truly become the voice of the people by spending more time about the people’s business by reducing the cost of state government and improving its effectiveness for the people.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican