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Coverage of BGR in local, regional, and national media

BGR In The News

Proposed tax breaks raise questions as bid to build hotel near Morial center continues

Jun 17, 2018

The nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research has already questioned whether it makes sense for the Convention Center to be investing tens of millions of tax dollars in this project when the city has billions of dollars in pressing infrastructure needs, most prominently at the Sewerage & Water Board.

Source: The Advocate

NOPD faces ‘structural deficit’ from pay raises, overtime: Cantrell

Jun 15, 2018

In 2015, the Bureau of Governmental Research called for the city’s tax dedications to be revisited. While not taking a stance on any particular dedication, the watchdog group’s report noted “problems that can occur when tax dedications can proliferate in an ad hoc manner and are not periodically reassessed in the context of other needs.”

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

10 Louisiana parishes with the highest property tax rates - 3 are in metro New Orleans

Jun 7, 2018

Research in 2014 from the Bureau of Governmental Research showed Shreveport pays the most in property taxes, followed by Mandeville and then the Orleans East Bank.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

After Round 1 stalled, New Orleans convention center officials restart talks for Omni Hotel

May 27, 2018

“The public is being asked to become a direct, long-term investor in this project through multiple subsidies, and the proposed subsidies, when you look at them as a whole, are some of the most substantial that we’ve seen in our research on public investment in private projects in New Orleans,” said Stephen Stuart, vice president and research director for the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Advocate

Our levees and pumps aren’t enough to keep New Orleans dry | Editorial

May 27, 2018

The Bureau of Governmental Research found in a 2017 report that the city will need $54.5 million by 2026 just to meet existing obligations and maintenance costs for drainage. That does not include money for new infrastructure.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

People this Week: New hires, promotions, awards

May 23, 2018

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has announced that eight employees received the Bureau of Governmental Research Excellence in Government Award in the Merit category.

Source: CityBusiness

Mayor LaToya Cantrell: New Orleans drainage projects have ‘been on hold far too long’

May 22, 2018

The Bureau of Governmental Research reached a similar conclusion in a report from 2017. Noting that the city will need $54.5 million by 2026 just to meet impending obligations and maintenance costs, the report noted that there’s no fee structure to provide funding for those needs — let alone build new infrastructure.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Committee searching for new S&WB director expected to meet

May 21, 2018

“I think it’s a significant risk if they do not choose the right person,” said Stephen Stuart, Vice President and Research Director at the Bureau of Governmental Research. “You need an effective leader in this job, but you also need an effective communicator, as well, someone who can take very technical challenges the Sewerage and Water Board faces and inform citizens, make them aware of what the agency faces.”

Source: FOX 8

Bill to add City Council representation back to Sewerage & Water Board heads to governor’s desk

May 17, 2018

Morrell’s bill also attracted push-back from the Bureau of Governmental Research, which issued a report last month arguing the bill could create a “false sense of security” along with conflicts of interest for the struggling utility.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Bill to place a N.O. city councilperson on S&WB closer to final approval

Apr 18, 2018

Still, the BGR is against returning a councilman to the board. “It could create the false impression of a solution,” said BGR President Amy Glovinsky.

Source: FOX 8

New Orleans should regulate, not run Sewerage & Water Board, watchdog group says

Apr 10, 2018

Adding a New Orleans City Council member back to the Sewerage & Water Board could “create a false sense of security” along with conflicts of interest for the struggling utility, according to a report released Monday (April 9) by the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

A City Council member on New Orleans S&WB would give ‘false sense of security,’ group says

Apr 9, 2018

The research group said the council member serving on the board — who would be chosen by the chairman of the council’s Public Works Committee — would face a conflict of interest because that committee is supposed to provide oversight on the actions of the S&WB.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans’ SELA drainage work should end this year, except on Florida Ave.

Feb 19, 2018

Last year, a “Beneath the Surface” study by the non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans said the S&WB’s paybacks on SELA will start in 2019 and swell to an expensive $8.8 million a year in 2022 and thereafter.

Source: The Louisiana Weekly

After talks stall, Morial Convention Center narrows focus for proposed upriver hotel project

Dec 24, 2017

“When you look at the magnitude of the expenses that they’re undertaking, there certainly is a cause for concern about the relatively quick decision-making and use of these funds, and the fact that with their use, the opportunity for redeployment goes away,” Amy Glovinsky, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research, said of the proposed hotel and economic development project.

Source: The Advocate

Federal inspector general to audit S&WB use of Katrina recovery funds

Dec 18, 2017

A report from the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research that recommended various ways a fee could be implemented was praised by former S&WB Executive Director Cedric Grant and some board members earlier this year.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans Council passes pension changes affecting only new hires

Dec 5, 2017

The city spends about $105.5 million paying for employees’ defined benefits under all pension plans, according to the Bureau of Governmental Research.

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

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

Mayoral candidates discuss drainage, other S&WB issues

Nov 2, 2017

The BGR recommended that the Sewerage and Water Board and City Hall consider a storm water fee as a potential source for drainage system funding.

Source: FOX 8

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

VERIFY: How much does New Orleans really earn from traffic cameras? Loading

Oct 12, 2017

According to the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), the city’s projected amount for 2017 is $24 million. The estimate increased this year because the number of fixed and mobile cameras nearly doubled.

Source: WWL-TV

Clancy: Voters need to keep a clear head as candidates get nasty

Oct 10, 2017

Here’s the good news: If you want objective information, you can get it. Check out the League of Women Voters website at lwvno.org, or the Bureau of Governmental Research website at bgr.org.

Source: WWL-TV

3 things we learned from Tuesday’s WDSU mayoral debate

Oct 4, 2017

The “skin in the game” comment refers to broadening the tax base to include tax-exempt nonprofits. The Bureau of Governmental Research issued a report in February that floated this option, arguing it was a fair because nonprofits use the drainage system.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

‘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

New Orleans mayoral candidates tout plans for Sewerage & Water Board, NOPD at forum

Sep 21, 2017

Candidates universally panned the idea of stormwater fees for improved drainage operations, which the Landrieu administration is considering asking the City Council to approve and which the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research endorsed in February. S&WB has said it will need $55 million to shore up the system.

Source: The Advocate

If the candidates aren’t inspiring voters, maybe voters should inspire the candidates

Sep 17, 2017

Voters should also check out BGR’s “Questions For A New Mayor” report at www.bgr.org. The report is a compilation of candidates’ responses to 18 questions developed by BGR. The topics covered include ways to address police manpower; retooling city employee pensions; fixing and maintaining street and drainage infrastructure, and more.

Source: Gambit

BGR’s New Orleans mayoral candidate survey covers hot topics

Sep 14, 2017

Everybody is looking for answers from the crowded field of candidates for the New Orleans mayoral race. The nonprofit watchdog Bureau for Governmental Research took its crack at it, calling on each of the 18 candidates to answer questions based on a series of detailed public policy reports its researchers published in recent years.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

UNO sees largest increase in undergraduate students in 8 years

Sep 7, 2017

Last July, Nicklow told an audience at a Bureau of Governmental Research breakfast that he wants 12,000 students at UNO in five years.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Cantrell calls for $84 million a year in infrastructure spending, bringing S&WB into City Hall

Aug 31, 2017

Her plan, outlined Thursday and heavily based on recommendations from the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research, would require surmounting significant obstacles, including prying money loose from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and winning support for a new stormwater fee that would initially target nonprofits but could eventually be expanded more broadly.

Source: The Advocate

Landrieu considers stormwater fees to pay for New Orleans drainage system upgrades

Aug 29, 2017

The Bureau of Governmental Research endorsed stormwater fees in a February report. It pointed out that while New Orleans is “one of the nation’s most stormwater-challenged cities,” it doesn’t have a way to collect money directly from property owners who use its drainage system.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

What will it take to fix the Sewerage and Water Board? Editorial

Aug 27, 2017

The Bureau of Governmental Research did an analysis of S&WB governance in 2011 and looked at consolidation. There are several significant benefits to putting the S&WB under direct city control, BGR found. First, consolidation would “force elected officials to accept responsibility for the system.”

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

City Council ‘didn’t care until everything went south’ at S&WB: J.P. Morrell

Aug 17, 2017

The (S&WB) board of directors was reduced from 13 to 11 members, council members lost their three seats and new members had to be nominated by local university presidents. The moves had support from the nonpartisan watchdog Bureau of Governmental Research and the New Orleans Business Council.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

First projects in New Orleans’ multibillion-dollar street repair campaign behind schedule

Jun 29, 2017

New Orleans’ ambitious plan to pour billions of dollars into fixing its crumbling streets is already behind schedule before it has really gotten started.

Source: The Advocate

Traffic cam money pads the general fund

May 30, 2017

A new report from the Bureau of Government Research says New Orleans isn’t using ANY traffic camera money to fix the streets. Our guest, Amy Glovinsky, President of the Bureau of Governmental Research says, “on the issue of traffic related fees, fines, and taxes [that] simply takes a commitment to use the discretionary funds.”

Source: WWL Radio

A discussion of street maintenance and how to pay for it with Amy Glovinsky, President of BGR

May 26, 2017

This week on All Things New Orleans, we’ll discuss a report on street maintenance and how to pay for it with Amy Glovinsky, President of the Bureau for Governmental Research.

Source: WWNO

Report: Money from traffic cam fines isn’t going to city streets

May 26, 2017

The independent Bureau of Governmental Research maintains now is the time to install a reliable maintenance program for city streets. “It’s very important that we go about it in a way that captures and preserves for the long term, the rebuilding that we’re about to embark upon,” BGR President and CEO Amy Glovinsky said

Source: WWL-TV

BGR Releases ‘Paying For Streets: Options For Funding Road Maintenance In New Orleans’

May 10, 2017

As BGR has pointed out in past reports, underfunding maintenance of the street network leads to far higher costs in the long run. The city itself estimates that every dollar invested in preventive maintenance can save four or five dollars in repair costs down the road. But the city has been spending far less than the $30 million to $35 million it says it needs to maintain streets.

Source: Biz New Orleans

New Orleans spends a fraction of what it needs to on street maintenance, group says

May 9, 2017

BGR continues to advocate, as it has for years, that the city redirect funds to street maintenance needs from sources such as traffic camera tickets, parking tickets, parking meters, parking taxes and vehicle sales taxes. The report stated these revenue sources will generate $52.2 million this year, which is more than five times the $9.5 million that New Orleans budgeted for streets in 2017.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Why did New Orleans property owners just get another tax bill?

Apr 29, 2017

The drainage renewal involves 4.46 mills of property tax for New Orleans’ drainage system. This millage provides 28 percent of the revenue the Sewerage and Water Board uses for system upkeep, according to the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Amid strong opposition from city employees, Stacy Head pulls plan to reform pension system

Apr 27, 2017

The heavy criticism was a blow for Head, whose years of efforts to revamp the pension system resulted in a reform plan that included some recommendations from the pension system’s board, some from the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research and some from her own research.

Source: The Advocate

Lawmaker proposes redirecting some Convention Center taxes to New Orleans roads

Apr 23, 2017

The debate over the Convention Center’s funding has been going on for years, with critics — including the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research — questioning whether some of the tax money dedicated to it could be better spent on roads, public safety or other priorities.

Source: The Advocate

Stacy Head: Why we need municipal employee pension reform now

Apr 20, 2017

The reforms I am proposing are based on years of research and comparisons with other governments and recommendations by the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Advocate

Many old issues re-emerge as New Orleans prepares for upcoming legislative session

Apr 7, 2017

Abramson’s approach is a slice of a larger set of recommendations issued by the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research in 2011 and revived in a letter to lawmakers earlier this year that called for trimming back on the state’s generous nonprofit exemptions, which go beyond most other states in allowing private organizations and other groups that don’t have clearly defined public benefits to avoid paying taxes.

Source: The Advocate

Many old issues re-emerge as New Orleans prepares for upcoming legislative session

Apr 7, 2017

Amy Glovinsky, the group’s president and CEO, said BGR is focused on “bringing our exemptions in line with national norms.”

Source: The Advocate

What kind of ‘change’ agendas might New Orleans mayoral candidates tout?

Apr 3, 2017

Speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the Bureau of Governmental Research last week, Landrieu didn’t say who he hoped would run to replace him. But he did make it perfectly clear what he hoped that person would say and do.

Source: The Advocate

LaToya Cantrell’s understated announcement typical of slow-building mayoral race

Apr 3, 2017

Speaking to a breakfast sponsored by the Bureau of Governmental Research last week, Landrieu said he plans to “finish strong.” “I’ve never been a lame duck in anything,” he said.

Source: The Advocate

New Orleans would get larger share of taxes on short-term rentals under bill filed this week

Mar 30, 2017

BGR has called for a comprehensive reassessment of the local tax structure in New Orleans with an eye toward rededicating taxes to address the community’s most pressing needs,” BGR President and CEO Amy Glovinsky said in an email. “A key piece of that review is to examine the use of hotel taxes. To the extent House Bill 224 seeks to rationally align hotel tax revenue with underfunded critical needs, it may be a step in the right direction.”

Source: The Advocate

Councilwoman Stacy Head proposes money-saving changes to city retirement system

Mar 7, 2017

Head’s proposal, which draws from some of the recommendations in a report by the nonpartisan Bureau of Governmental Research last year, has the support of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region.

Source: The Advocate

Peter Reichard shares the Bureau of Governmental Research’s new study calling for a drainage fee

Mar 6, 2017

Federal money will pay to further improve canals and pumping stations. But the city has to contribute a percentage, and it has to pay for upkeep. The nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research has released a new study calling for a fee on stormwater drainage to fill that gap.

Source: WWNO

BGR report proposes using fees, not taxes, to fund New Orleans’ drainage system

Feb 14, 2017

The New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board should consider levying usage fees to pay for the upkeep of its drainage system rather than relying on the property taxes that now fund the system, according to a new report from the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: The Advocate

Here’s how Convention Center can help fund New Orleans public safety plan

Feb 11, 2017

But that raises questions about whether the city should be able to determine its own priorities, or whether it should rely on the largess of another entity. “It does strike one as an unusual power dynamic that speaks to the need to revisit that structure,” Amy Glovinsky, president and CEO of BGR, a nonpartisan research group, said last week.

Source: The Advocate

Why will New Orleans property owners get another tax bill this year?

Feb 1, 2017

This millage provides 28 percent of the revenue the Sewerage and Water Board uses for system upkeep, according to the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Major expansion of surveillance cameras in French Quarter, 20 hot spots

Jan 23, 2017

The city will be picking up about $16 million of the cost of the plan, with the rest being born by the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The convention center is a state entity with its own taxing power that has come under criticism from the non-partisan Bureau of Governmental Research for maintaining a $200 million reserve, which the group has argued could go toward other more urgent needs in the city.

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

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 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

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

Zurik: From City Hall down, convention center money leaves NOLA residents frustrated

Nov 14, 2016

BGR raised “The $1 Billion Question” in its so-titled report on whether tax dedications in New Orleans make sense. The report showed tens of millions of tax dollars generated in New Orleans by the tourism industry, but none of it going to fix streets or pay for police.

Source: FOX 8

Zurik: Convention Center cash piles up as attendance numbers fall flat

Nov 3, 2016

“Right now the dollars that the city is able to dedicate to streets is much less than what’s going to the Convention Center,” says Amy Glovinsky, president of the private nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research.

Source: FOX 8

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 urges changes to New Orleans area public pension plans to control costs

Oct 20, 2016

In New Orleans, which is hampered by the outsized tab to cover its struggling firefighters’ retirement plan, the city will spend nearly $106 million on pension costs in 2016, the report said, which eats up 16 cents of every $1 in the city’s general fund.

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

The $165 million question: How best to invest New Orleans’ tourism tax revenue?

Aug 3, 2016

The BGR study estimated that the hotel taxes generated $165.9 million in 2015. After accounting for all the pass-throughs and levels of distributions, the watchdog group estimated that about $126.8 million — 76 percent — went to tourism-related entities. The remaining 24 percent went to public services such as city government, transportation and education.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

President John Nicklow wants 12,000 students at University of New Orleans in 5 years

Jul 21, 2016

In five years, new University of New Orleans president John Nicklow envisions a revitalized school — with 12,000 students. “That is a lofty goal,” he admitted to an audience Thursday (July 21) at a Bureau of Governmental Research breakfast.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

New UNO President John Nicklow aims to boost enrollment to 12,000 in five years

Jul 21, 2016

“Rebuilding our enrollment is my top priority,” Nicklow told a packed room at a breakfast briefing hosted by the Bureau of Governmental Research, a nonprofit group that analyzes public policies.

Source: The Advocate

Taxing authority for New Orleans convention district rolling in Legislature

May 18, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research report on House Bill 1056 stopped short of condemning the project outright, but it did question the wisdom of granting the Convention Center new taxing authority.
The various taxes that support the Convention Center generated about $60 million in 2015. The Convention Center’s reserves now top $222 million, even as the city struggles to pave streets and recruit police officers, the BGR report notes.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

BGR honors officials, citizens for good work

May 15, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research last week presented its 2016 Excellence in Government Awards during a luncheon ceremony. Established in 1994, the awards program recognizes government employees and citizens for outstanding performance and creative problem-solving.

Source: The Advocate

BGR criticizes bill to allow Morial Convention Center to levy taxes in nearby area

May 11, 2016

The Bureau of Governmental Research said the measure would exacerbate a fractured taxing system in New Orleans that already does too much to constrain how local officials can spend tax dollars.

Source: The Advocate

BGR pans Morial Convention Center taxing power

May 11, 2016

The watchdog Bureau of Governmental Research is repeating its refrain against approving new taxes in New Orleans without a thorough evaluation of dedications already in place.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Let New Orleanians decide on nonprofit tax exemptions: A letter to the editor

Apr 12, 2016

Although it appears that there is now a growing consensus among good government groups such as the Bureau of Governmental Research, the media and some local politicians (see the Tax Fairness Commission report of 2011 by Mayor Mitch Landrieu), there has been no action.

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

Taxes vs. Tulane scholarships: Towards a more equitable way to deal with exemptions

Apr 4, 2016

As reported by the Bureau of Governmental Research in 2011, over 4,900 parcels were owed by non-profit organizations and exempt from paying property taxes.

Source: The Lens

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

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