In The News › Watchdog Group Weighs In On Mayor’s Spending Plan

Nov 28, 2010

Source: WDSU

Filed under: Government Finance, Orleans Parish

Watchdog Group Weighs In On Mayor’s Spending Plan

City Council Set To Vote On Budget On Wednesday

Sunday, November 28, 2010
WDSU

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans City Council is set to vote on the budget on Wednesday, which includes a proposed property tax hike that would generate millions for the city.
One watchdog group is weighing in on the mayor’s spending plan.

The Bureau of Governmental Research wrote an open letter to Mayor Mitch Landrieu about the budget, outlining five steps it believes would save the city millions.

Landrieu’s proposed budget for 2011 is $483 million, with more money dedicated to blight, fixing streetlights and repairing potholes.

“We think we got pretty close to what the priorities are,” Landrieu said. “You know, this budget is significantly smaller than all of the budgets have been in previous years. It’s a very fiscally responsible budget.”

The BGR believes it has identified even more savings. It’s suggesting slashing the mayor’s economic development budget by $2 million and cutting hundreds of thousands more from the communications department.

“We are really in the 23rd hour of a 24-hour process,” Landrieu said. “We are going to go look at them. We are going to consider them, some of the suggestions they have made are already in the budget.”

The letter also suggests that city can cut costs by getting business partners to match the funding for a summer youth program and to consider alternative sources of revenue, like assessing property taxes on non-profits.

While the mayor is open to suggestions, the matter of the budget it now in the City Council’s hands to decide.

“The point I am making to the public is whatever that budget is, all of my folks have been instructed to govern to that budget,” Landrieu said. “We will hit that budget on mark as a matter of fiscal prudence and fiscal responsibility.”

Before the council votes on the budget, there will be a public hearing on the proposed tax hikes on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in council chambers.
Under the city charter, the council must pass a balanced budget no later than Dec. 1.

Nov 28, 2010

Source: WDSU

Filed under: Government Finance, Orleans Parish

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