Public Officials Won’t Have Discussion On Shreveport’s Property Taxes
We conclude this week's look into Shreveport's comparatively high property taxes by looking at who is responsible for the policies we have today and who has the power to change.
"Nobody that I know of in elected positions here ever says to the public, 'Look, we know you are paying disproportionately high taxes, and we are going to get them down,'" stated political consultant Elliott Stonecipher. "I am 62 years old, was born here, I've never heard that from a public official in my entire life."
These problems didn't just show up. These increases have occurred year over year, decade over decade as far back as the city's first few annexations.
But what Stonecipher has described to KEEL News the past week is a systemic issue here in Shreveport.
"We have elected officials who are doing nothing. And it is going to come at the peril of the city. It will come at the peril of the school system."
Stonecipher has mentioned how city and school leaders will levy and champion any tax they can because the city's voting population will approve any property tax increase. He notes it's because a large percentage of city residents do not pay those taxes.
"I don't believe there is anyone in Shreveport who has invested anytime at all in this discussion who feel their quality of life is any better than in Bossier."
And what was learned by speaking with Mr. Stonecipher and the Mayor's office is that accountability is an issue.
"There are very real and objective reasons for what is happening. As I say, I think the remarkable thing in the discussion is that in Shreveport, in Caddo Parish generally, no public officials care. You will never hear them engage in this discussion."
We did ask Mayor Cedric Glover to have a discussion with us about the matter, possibly present some counterarguments to Mr. Stonecipher's statements. His office told KEEL News, "The Mayor won't be available for this interview and he offers his regrets."
But, Mr. Stonecipher has a message for public officials:
"People are simply not as stupid as public officials think they are."