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Coverage of BGR in local, regional, and national media

BGR In The News

JP school leaders consider next move after teacher pay millage defeat

Nov 21, 2017

The millage was defeated by less than 500 votes after drawing opposition from the Bureau of Governmental Research, which called for a comprehensive study of school needs before any new tax is passed.

Source: FOX 8

Despite poll defeat, Jefferson Parish school leaders planning to bring taxes back before voters

Nov 21, 2017

Combining the facilities upgrades and teacher pay will have two main benefits, she added. It will give the school system time to figure out how to best target the raises to overcome retention problems — something the Bureau of Governmental Research said the proposal on Saturday’s ballot didn’t do — and it will also allow time to present the plan to the public and answer questions.

Source: The Advocate

School board member wants Jefferson Parish voters to reconsider teacher pay tax

Nov 21, 2017

That ongoing master plan study is one of the reasons the nonprofit government watchdog group Bureau of Governmental Research publicly opposed the tax. The group said the district rushed the tax proposition to the ballot without a comprehensive study to justify the raises

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Our Views: Orleans’ proposed rainy-day fund could provide parish the financial base needed

Nov 18, 2017

The Bureau of Governmental Research backs the charter amendment, saying that while it is not an ironclad savings account, it is in line with best-practices in other city governments. “The requirement of a supermajority council vote for appropriations from the Savings Fund offers a check on misuse,” BGR said. “Still, it is imperative that the council adhere to the amendment’s clear intent and limit appropriations to times when the city faces a critical financial need.”

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans voters approve ‘rainy day’ emergency fund

Nov 18, 2017

The charter change received the approval of the Bureau of Governmental Research, although the watchdog group did list some concerns with the proposal. Specifically, it said the provision involving a federal mandate is overly broad, and the possibility of abuse exists because there are no specifics on the duration of disaster declarations or economic downturns.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish voters narrowly reject property tax for schoolteacher raises

Nov 18, 2017

But others, including the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research, disagreed. The group acknowledged that the pay for starting teachers is lower than surrounding parishes, but noted that the parish’s average teacher pay, $49,923, is competitive. It also questioned whether the pay raises would be effective in helping to retain teachers and critiqued the school system for not getting a comprehensive salary study before proposing the raise.

Source: The Advocate

Jefferson Parish voters narrowly reject school tax increase

Nov 18, 2017

The proposed 10-year tax drew opposition from the Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonprofit group. Its report accused school officials of rushing their proposal without a “comprehensive study necessary to justify the proposed raises.”

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Rainy day fund is vital to New Orleans’ financial future, mayor says

Nov 17, 2017

That’s why groups like the Bureau of Governmental Research and the Business Council of New Orleans are supporting this as a best practice for budgeting.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish voters to decide on new tax for teacher raises

Nov 17, 2017

The independent Bureau of Governmental Research recognizes that attracting and retaining high-quality public school employees is important to Jefferson Parish. But, BGR has taken a position against the proposed millage. BGR maintains the school board rushed into this proposition without a comprehensive analysis to justify the raises

Source: WWL-TV

Jefferson School Board asking voters to approve new tax for teacher raises

Nov 6, 2017

The proposed 10-year tax has drawn opposition from the Bureau of Govermental Research, a nonprofit group, that accuses school officials of rushing into the tax without a “comprehensive study necessary to justify the proposed raises.” The BGR said the school district should have completed its facilities study before putting the salary tax on the ballot.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish voters to decide on 8.45-mill tax hike to pay for school employee raises

Nov 4, 2017

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a private, independent research agency, has come out against the tax, accusing the School Board of having “rushed into this millage proposition without a comprehensive benchmarking analysis to determined whether the pay increases are fair, reasonable and appropriately scaled to the labor market.”

Source: The Advocate

Early voting begins Friday, continues through Nov. 10 for runoff election

Nov 2, 2017

According to the Bureau of Governmental Research, the Savings Fund would set aside a portion of the City’s general financial reserve, or Fund Balance, for emergencies and other financial crises.

Source: WWL-TV

Our Views: There will be other ‘rainy days’ in New Orleans; vote yes for proposed emergency fund

Nov 2, 2017

The Bureau of Governmental Research backs the amendment, saying that while it is not an ironclad savings account, it is in line with best-practices in other city governments.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans school taxes earn renewal from voters

Oct 14, 2017

Voters again backed a 1.55-mill tax funds textbooks, library books, instructional equipment and materials. The district expects this millage to generate $5.7 million annually, according to the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

On The Ballot: Tax Renewal To Support Orleans Parish Schools

Oct 13, 2017

If voters approve the measure, property taxes will remain at the current rate. A new report from the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research is recommending voters approve the millages again

Source: WWNO

‘Yes’ on three Orleans Parish school tax renewals | Editorial

Oct 3, 2017

“Failure to renew the millages would subtract a significant source of funding from school budgets citywide. The School Board has no other source of revenue to offset that loss, meaning the consequences for Orleans public schools would be severe,” according to the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

$9.8 million in property taxes up for renewal to fund Jefferson Parish bus service

Sep 28, 2017

Parish administrators told the Bureau of Governmental Research they plan to budget $13.2 million a year from the surplus for 11 years to build sidewalks and curb cuts at many of the estimated 1,000 regular bus stops that now lack sufficient wheelchair access.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

New River Ridge-area fire millage, parishwide library tax renewal on Saturday ballot

Apr 27, 2017

BGR reported the system has kept its growth in operating costs “at a modest 3.1 percent” a year and has avoided borrowing for its capital improvements, with $38 million available in that fund.

Source: The Advocate

Our Views: Support Orleans, Jeff taxes

Dec 10, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that studies public policy issues in the New Orleans area, has endorsed all of the taxes.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans Voters to Decide Millages, Criminal Court Judge Post

Dec 9, 2016

And – with Proposition 2 — voters are deciding on establishing a 12-year tax dedicated to the fire department. Funds would settle a dispute that’s gone on for decades over back pay. Officials say it’ll cost the average homeowner about $50 a year. The non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research is recommending both propositions be approved.

Source: WWNO

Jefferson Parish 1-cent sales tax in voters’ hands Saturday

Dec 8, 2016

Should the tax not be renewed, the Bureau of Governmental Research said, Jefferson would have to “scale back” its capital investment plans, effectively delaying many of the projects.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish recreation tax up for voters’ decision Saturday

Dec 7, 2016

Should the tax not be renewed, the Bureau of Governmental Research said, Jefferson “would force widespread closures” of several parks and playgrounds.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish tax renewal for drainage on Dec. 10 ballot

Dec 5, 2016

Should the tax not be renewed, the Bureau of Governmental Research said, Jefferson would have to make “severe cuts” in other services to maintain drainage at current levels.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans makes final pitch for drainage-tax renewal before election

Dec 2, 2016

Becker noted, they join endorsements from the Bureau of Governmental Research as well as the Times-Picayune, The Advocate and Gambit newspapers.

Source: Uptown Messenger

Early voting begins Saturday for December election

Nov 25, 2016

The city says the tax would yield an estimated $8.9 million a year to help pay settlement costs for the tens of millions of dollars in legal judgments it owes to firefighters and their pension fund. The Bureau of Governmental Research has endorsed the tax proposal.

Source: WWL-TV

New Orleans voters to decide on drainage tax renewal Dec. 10

Nov 25, 2016

The BGR report noted that the money the S&WB brings in for drainage work is largely consumed by operational costs and paying back loans. As a result, about $50 million worth of work had to be deferred in 2016 because not enough money was available.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans voters consider fire, drainage taxes on Dec. 10 ballot

Nov 25, 2016

Without a new revenue source — in addition to the millage up for renewal — New Orleans’ deferred drainage work could exceed $270 million by 2020, BGR says.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

‘Yes’ on Jefferson Parish school tax renewal: Editorial

Nov 23, 2016

“The school system struggles to keep up with the mounting maintenance and repair needs of its aging facilities – the average school building is 52 years old. Without the millage, its capacity to address facility needs could diminish,” BGR said

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

‘Yes’ on Jefferson Parish sales, drainage and recreation tax renewals: Editorial

Nov 23, 2016

Renewing the tax now would allow the parish to refinance existing sales tax bonds and finance new road and sewer construction projects, according to the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

‘Yes’ on firefighter and drainage taxes for New Orleans: Editorial

Nov 20, 2016

The Sewerage & Water Board already lacks money for its capital improvement program, and the agency soon will be on the hook for additional expenses, according to BGR.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Bureau of Governmental Research Backs Millage/Tax Renewals on December Ballot

Nov 18, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) throws its support behind millages and a 1% sales tax renewal on the December 10th ballot. At that time voters will decide whether to renew a millage for Drainage and Recreation, also renewals for a 1% Sales Tax and a Jefferson Parish School Property Tax.

Source: Jefferson Parish

4 Jefferson Parish tax renewals backed by independent non-profit

Nov 17, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research called the sales tax a “core funding source” for local government for more than three decades. “Renewal of the sales tax would enable the parish to finance much-needed road and sewerage improvements on both sides of the Mississippi River,” the agency said.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

BGR backs both New Orleans property tax items on Dec. 10 ballot

Nov 16, 2016

Absent any additional revenue sources, BGR says keeping the drainage property tax in place is advantageous because it is established and voters understand the assessment and collection process.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Watchdog group endorses New Orleans fire and drainage taxes on December ballot

Nov 15, 2016

A leading government watchdog group is supporting two property tax measures on the Dec. 10 ballot in New Orleans, a new tax designed to pay for a settlement between the city and firefighters and a tax renewal to pay for drainage. The nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research gave both taxes the thumbs up in a report issued Tuesday.

Source: The Advocate

Our Views: A charter change not ready for voters

Oct 25, 2016

BGR pointedly did not endorse the ballot proposal after reviewing its particulars — or its lack of them. “Without a companion ordinance, the charter amendment presents an incomplete picture of the revised Police Monitor structure that would emerge upon passage of the amendment,” BGR noted.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans voters asked to approve inspector general, police monitor split

Oct 24, 2016

The nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research is not taking a position, although in a recent report it questioned whether the amendment was necessary. Among its concerns is whether the rift between Quatrevaux and Hutson needed to be settled through a charter alteration.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Orleans charter change won’t change much

Oct 23, 2016

Whatever happens Nov. 8, there will be no more spats between Quatrevaux and Hutson, but BGR, which takes no position on the charter change, points out that voters will be missing such key information as to who will hire, fire and establish terms of employment for the police monitor.

Source: The Advocate

Police monitor, inspector general ask Orleans voters to finalize their divorce

Oct 21, 2016

The BGR, which took no position on the amendment, said it also found no evidence that the conflict between Quatrevaux and Hutson “is due to any inherent flaw in the charter provisions making the police monitor a division of the (inspector general).”

Source: The Advocate

BGR finds faults in New Orleans police monitor charter amendment

Oct 12, 2016

Ahead of the Nov. 8 election, BGR is officially taking no position on the charter amendment, even as it stressed in a report Wednesday that a change might not be necessary and could reduce accountability from all parties involved.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Our Views: Vote for tax plan in Saturday’s city election

Apr 9, 2016

We share some of the reservations of the Bureau of Governmental Research, www.bgr.org, about long-term bond issues for street repairs that might last, at best, for the length of the bond payments. Still, BGR is for the bond issue because of the “abysmal” condition of New Orleans streets.

Source: The Advocate

Next steps after New Orleans voters reject tax increase for police expansion, firefighters?

Apr 9, 2016

Residents throughout the city were skeptical of providing more funding to the NOPD, even as groups such as the Bureau of Governmental Research, the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region and public employee unions came out in favor of the plan.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans street repair pledge leads voters to back $120 million bond sale

Apr 9, 2016

The nonprofit watchdog Bureau of Governmental Research, which previously raised questions about the city’s overall tax structure, endorsed the bond issue but raised concerns the city’s 30-year debt service plan.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

To Pay First Responders, New Orleans Heads To Polls

Apr 8, 2016

This Saturday New Orleanians will have a chance to vote on new taxes intended to improve public safety and settle long-standing debts to the fire department. The nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research issued a report on the vote, saying the increases are needed, lest other programs be cut.

Source: WWNO

Our Views: Vote for tax plan in Saturday’s city election

Apr 8, 2016

We share some of the reservations of the Bureau of Governmental Research, www.bgr.org, about long-term bond issues for street repairs that might last, at best, for the length of the bond payments.

Source: The Advocate

Separate questions deserve a separate vote

Apr 4, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research notes that putting the two taxes together “may complicate the decision-making process.”

Source: Mid-City Messenger

City seeks more taxes on April 9

Apr 4, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research, which had opposed the 2015 new library tax and other millage increases in recent years, endorsed the 7.5 mills for police and fire.

Source: Louisiana Weekly

Editorial: It takes a millage

Mar 28, 2016

“Approval of the tax would represent a major commitment by taxpayers to give the troubled Police Department the resources necessary to rebuild its ranks, reduce response times and provide better public safety outcomes,” the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) wrote in its endorsement of the millage. The BGR cautioned, however, that the City Council would have to play watchdog to make sure benchmarks are met. We agree.

Source: Gambit

Tax increase could end decades of disputes over New Orleans firefighters’ pay, pensions

Mar 26, 2016

In addition to Landrieu and the firefighters, the millage increases have been endorsed by other labor unions, the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research and two high-profile business groups, Greater New Orleans Inc. and the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans public employee unions back proposed tax hike for police, fire

Mar 23, 2016

The property tax increase has also received the support of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Bureau of Governmental Research, Greater New Orleans Inc. and the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region. So far, no organized opposition to the measure has emerged.

Source: The Advocate

Business groups endorse proposed tax hike for public safety in New Orleans

Mar 22, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research and the New Orleans chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police also have endorsed the millage hike. So far, no organized opposition to the measure has emerged.

Source: The Advocate

Our Views: We support New Orleans fire, police tax

Mar 20, 2016

But the Bureau of Governmental Research, which is backing the proposition, notes that there is little research supporting the notion that 1,600 is the ideal size.

Source: The Advocate

Our Views: New bonds for streets

Mar 20, 2016

A guide to the upsides and downsides of the bond issue, seemingly “free” money, is available from the indispensable work of the Bureau of Governmental Research. Despite some reservations, BGR is for the bond issue because of the “abysmal” condition of New Orleans streets.

Source: The Advocate

‘Yes’ for more money for New Orleans police, firefighters and streets: Editorial

Mar 20, 2016

According to the Bureau of Governmental Research, which is supporting the increase, the owner of a $350,000 home would pay an additional $262.50 in taxes each year. That is less than $22 per month.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Government watchdog endorses $120M bond proposal, 7.5 mill public safety tax hike

Mar 18, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research this week endorsed a pair of ballot initiatives that would permit the city to issue $120 million in bonds and raise property taxes dedicated to public safety by a combined 7.5 mills, generating about $26.6 million annually.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Two April 9th Tax Proposals Deserve Public Support

Mar 17, 2016

Even the generally tax-averse Bureau of Governmental Research called the streets and capital improvements proposal a “more holistic approach.”

Source: Uptown Messenger

Proposed tax hike in New Orleans for police, fire departments would be ‘major commitment’

Mar 16, 2016

“The City Council and administration must hold the NOPD accountable for achieving its goals and carefully calibrate funding to the department’s true needs,” the report says. “The goals should include increasing the number of officers assigned to calls for service.”

Source: The Advocate

BGR supports April 9 tax vote for N.O. police, fire, street repairs

Mar 16, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research has come out in support of two tax proposals on the April 9 ballot in New Orleans, one to increase funding for police and firefighters, the other to pay for street repairs and other improvements.

Source: WWL-TV

Term limits overwhelmingly approved for St. Tammany Parish Council

Mar 5, 2016

The private Bureau of Governmental Research supported the proposition, calling it a “a step in the right direction” even though it is not in line with the two-term limits imposed on most other New Orleans area parish councils.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Villere for Mandeville mayor; ‘yes’ on Parish Council term limits: Editorial

Feb 24, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research laid out the case for change: “Proponents say the proposed term limits are necessary to bring in new council members with fresh ideas. They say term limits prevent incumbents from amassing enough power through patronage, favors and campaign contributions to remain in office indefinitely.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Term limits finally coming before St. Tammany voters

Feb 23, 2016

While the Concerned Citizens group opposes the measure, the independent non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research supports it. It called the ballot proposal “a step in the right direction” even though it is not in line with the two-term limits imposed on most other New Orleans area councils.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Citizen group protesting St. Tammany term limit proposition

Feb 18, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research is encouraging voters to vote yes at the polls saying, “While the proposed three-term limit is not in line with the shorter two-term limits for most parish councils in the metro area, it is a step in the right direction. The proposed 12-year limit provides council members with more than enough time to make their contributions.”

Source: WDSU

West Bank flood protection authority defends itself against questions about spending

Nov 18, 2015

The SLFPA-W noted that the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, the Bureau of Governmental Research and the leaders of Gretna and Westwego all have endorsed the millage request.

Source: The Advocate

Letters: Passage of West Bank millages crucial for hurricane protection

Nov 16, 2015

Residents of the West Bank: This proposal is a big deal. We need to support it. The New Orleans Advocate, BGR, the homebuilders and real estate agents have endorsed it. It is up to us now.

Source: The Advocate

St. Tammany DA rails against charter change

Nov 15, 2015

BGR said the amendment would eliminate potential conflicts that could arise from the current requirement that the parish president and council use the district attorney as their legal adviser.

Source: The Advocate

$1.2 million tax renewal on ballot for Algiers flood protection

Nov 13, 2015

The Special Levee District Improvement Tax is one of three millages that Algiers property owners pay for flood protection. It was first approved in 1973 and renewed in 1983 for 30 years. The Bureau of Governmental Research supports the tax renewal.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

$5.5 million tax hike for flood protection on West Jefferson ballot

Nov 13, 2015

Both the West Jefferson and Algiers measures have support from the Bureau of Governmental Research. “Should voters reject the millage, maintenance of levees and infrastructure will suffer and levee improvements will go unfunded, increasing the risk of flooding and likely resulting in higher flood insurance rates,’‘ the non-profit watchdog said.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Chamber Connection: Important issues on the ballot

Nov 11, 2015

As stated by the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), “while mandatory periodic review of the charter is important, the proposed amendment could undermine the integrity of future charter amendment efforts because the proposed charter advisory committee would lack independence from the Parish Council.”

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

9 proposed home rule charter changes await St. Tammany voters on Nov. 21 ballot

Nov 10, 2015

While current personnel ordinances require the hiring of qualified candidates and merit-based appointments and promotions, the Parish Council could change those provisions by amending the ordinances, BGR said.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Our recommendations on St. Tammany charter changes: Editorial

Nov 6, 2015

In addition, BGR notes, requiring the executive and legislative branches of government to use essentially the same lawyer can be a problem. They each may need independent advice about each other.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Levee taxes are essential to keeping us safe from storms: Editorial

Nov 4, 2015

The West Jefferson district has $13.9 million on hand to pay to lift the levees, but needs the new tax to cover the rest, BGR said.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

BGR backs West Bank flood protection tax measures

Nov 3, 2015

BGR said the agency’s obligations “have increased dramatically’‘ since Hurricane Katrina. They include oversight of three drainage pumping stations, including the world’s largest in Plaquemines Parish, and raising and fortifying subsiding levees.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

French Quarter sales tax increase to fund State Police contingent wins handily

Oct 24, 2015

Citing city figures, the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research said the city assured it that the NOPD would stick to a baseline of 10 to 15 on-duty NOPD cops assigned to each of three daily patrol shifts.

Source: The Advocate

Elections Saturday: What’s on the ballot

Oct 23, 2015

In the French Quarter, voters will consider a quarter-cent sales tax proposal that would fund extra security for the French Quarter, namely an extended State Police presence. The Bureau of Governmental Research has analyzed the proposal and endorsed it.

Source: WWL-TV

The Advocate encourages everyone to go to the polls Saturday and vote

Oct 23, 2015

The Bureau of Governmental Research, which focuses on New Orleans-area issues but also addresses a number of statewide concerns, has guidance for today’s election available at www.bgr.org.

Source: The Advocate

State Police, public safety—not NOPD—focus of French Quarter sales tax plan

Oct 8, 2015

The need for bolstering policing in the French Quarter is apparent, according to statistics compiled by the Bureau of Governmental Research. That nonpartisan watchdog group, which supports the tax plan, found that crime in the French Quarter had jumped 55 percent overall between 2010 and 2014.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

BGR Supports FQ Sales Tax Proposal

Oct 7, 2015

BGR says the French Quarter “is the heart of the city’s tourist economy” and that creating a sales tax to fund additional security would improve safety for residents and tourists alike.

Source: WRNO Radio

‘Yes’ on French Quarter sales tax to beef up security: Editorial

Oct 7, 2015

The temporary sales tax is a smart approach. “Creating a sales tax to fund additional security in the Quarter will improve safety for residents and tourists alike, while appropriately allocating the cost burden,” BGR said.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

F.Q. residents gather to learn about proposed sales tax to fund state police

Oct 6, 2015

The Bureau of Governmental Research, threw its support behind the plan, saying it’ll improve safety for residents and tourists alike.

Source: FOX 8

Packed house inside French Quarter proposed sales tax meeting

Oct 6, 2015

“We actually like the fact that there’s a five-year sunset on this tax because it gives the voters an opportunity to come back in five years and reassess: Where are we? Do we need this tax anymore? Has the NOPD built up its ranks to the point where there’s no longer a need for this?” said BGR President and CEO Celeste Coco-Ewing.

Source: WWL-TV

BGR endorses French Quarter sales tax plan for State Police

Oct 6, 2015

The nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research offered its support Tuesday for a proposed quarter-cent sales tax increase on French Quarter businesses to pay for a detachment of State Police troopers dedicated to New Orleans’ hallmark neighborhood.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Research group backs French Quarter tax hike to increase State Police presence

Oct 6, 2015

BGR said in a report released Tuesday that the five-year dedicated sales tax boost, while a “novel approach” to funding neighborhood law enforcement, “makes sense as a stopgap measure” in a district where an estimated 9 million tourists visited last year but only about 3,800 people live.

Source: The Advocate

BGR supports French Quarter sales tax hike for state police patrols

Oct 6, 2015

“The French Quarter is the heart of the city’s tourist economy,” writes the BGR in its report, which points out the neighborhood has seen a 55 percent increase in crime over the past four years. “Creating a sales tax to fund additional security in the Quarter will improve safety for residents and tourists alike, while appropriately allocating the cost burden.”

Source: WWL-TV

Stephanie Grace: Why you should look at Saturday’s Orleans Parish election results and feel cheerful

May 5, 2015

This time, proponents included BGR, which wrote that it supported the tax “only because it is clear that the public will have to directly or indirectly provide additional revenue to implement the costly court-ordered reforms at the parish prison.”

Source: The Advocate

St. Bernard tax defeat means higher flood risk, flood insurance rates, levee leaders warn

May 4, 2015

In a pre-election report, the Bureau of Governmental Research noted that levee district officials said a failure of the tax increase would result in an immediate reduction in its staff from the current 30 employees to 21 or 22.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Change to allow Orleans sheriff more flexibility with millage wins narrow victory

May 3, 2015

Under the tax, homeowners with a homestead exempt property worth $300,000 still will pay $63 a year, according to the Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonpartisan research organization that backed the measure.

Source: The Advocate

Our Views: Today’s voting roundup for New Orleans

May 2, 2015

This proposal also earned the support of the Bureau of Governmental Research, which noted, “The money is going to have to come from somewhere.”

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans voters approve library tax

May 2, 2015

BGR had advised against voting for the proposal, requesting that city leaders come up with those detailed plans and wait until a November election to come back to voters.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

New Orleans voters approve Orleans Parish Prison tax

May 2, 2015

BGR is extremely concerned about the governance of the Law Enforcement District and the sheriff’s contracting practices and believes that major reform is needed,” the nonprofit said in a recent report. “BGR is supporting the tax proposition only because it is clear that the public will have to directly or indirectly provide additional revenue to implement the costly court-ordered reforms at the parish prison.”

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Library asking Orleans voters for extra $8.25 million a year

Apr 30, 2015

The Bureau of Governmental Research is against the request. The nonpartisan watchdog group said the library should not ask voters for more revenue without first providing a “well-conceived strategic plan, based on sound numbers.”

Source: The Advocate

Mitch Landrieu says New Orleans will face ‘damaging budget cuts’ if voters don’t approve jail tax

Apr 29, 2015

The proposition even has won the endorsement of the Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonpartisan research organization that has expressed repeated concern about the Orleans Parish Law Enforcement District, a taxing entity controlled entirely by Gusman.

Source: The Advocate

What’s on the May 2 ballot

Apr 27, 2015

The only opposition to the library proposition comes from the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), which says the library board’s failure to adopt a strategic plan indicates the board lacks a clear vision for the library’s future. BGR says it supports a strong library system and notes that the library board has sufficient funds to continue operations into 2016.

Source: Gambit

New Orleans Public Library in financial trouble

Apr 27, 2015

Janet Howard, president and CEO of BGR, says the library has a plan for how it’s going to spend the money, but it doesn’t have a strategic long-term plan for its operations. Howard says that kind of strategic plan should have predated the rebuilding of the library system post-Katrina.

Source: Gambit

New Orleans library has a detailed plan for new tax money: A letter to the editor

Apr 24, 2015

A progressive, accessible, well-stocked and technologically current library is a vital asset for any community and certainly for New Orleans — given its myriad challenges: illiteracy, school performance levels, technology deficits, unemployment and underemployment and crime statistics.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Even if voters reject proposed library tax, options for increased funding still exist

Apr 24, 2015

The city hasn’t funded the library directly since the mid-1980s, except for occasional small contributions. “They’re part of city government.” said Janet Howard, director of the Bureau of Governmental Research, which recently came out against the millage proposal. “It’s not been their practice now, but that’s not to say it couldn’t be their practice.”

Source: The Lens

BGR thinks the lack of planning for libraries is reason for concern: A letter to the editor

Apr 22, 2015

BGR was alarmed by the various discrepancies in the library’s numbers and the apparent lack of planning. It urged the library to return to voters in the fall with a well-developed strategic plan, based on sound numbers, showing that the new tax revenue will go toward a system that meets the public’s needs.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

St. Bernard voters being asked again to boost millage for flood protection

Apr 20, 2015

The millage proposal has the backing of the Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonpartisan public policy group in New Orleans.

Source: The Advocate

Lake Borgne levee tax increase is essential for maintaining flood protection: Editorial

Apr 18, 2015

For the past three years, the district has taken $500,000 out of a reserve fund to balance its budget, BGR said in a report on the millage request. That can’t continue.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Voters consider Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s tax plan May 2

Apr 17, 2015

Voters rejected a nearly identical tax proposal last fall, despite support from Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office and the nonprofit government watchdog Bureau of Government Research. Both have reaffirmed that support for the current tax proposal, though BGR’s came with concerns over Gusman’s oversight and contracting practices.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Library tax on May 2 ballot in New Orleans

Apr 17, 2015

According to BGR, before going to voters for additional revenue, the library must first present a strategic plan, based on sound numbers for the future

Source: WWL-TV

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