Analysis of government policies, finance, management, and administration

BGR Reports

Public Contributions to Convention Center Hotel Demand Scrutiny

Jul 19, 2018

Convention Hotel cover

In this report, BGR provides an analytical framework for evaluating the necessity and size of a private development team’s requested public contributions to design, build and operate a 1,200-room hotel attached to the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. BGR estimates that the proposed contributions – some of which would remain in place for 40 years – would be worth $329.5 million in today’s dollars.

The report outlines five criteria for analyzing the developers’ proposal based on BGR’s research of best practices for public participation in economic development projects. The reports calls on the Convention Center to (1) clearly justify any public contributions to the hotel project and (2) provide ample time for citizens and public officials to review any tentative deal before final approval.

Filed under: BGR Now, Economic Development and Subsidies, Government Finance, Orleans Parish, Taxation and Assessments

From Answers to Action: Post-Election Policy Making

Jun 21, 2018

From Answers to Action

From Answers to Action: Post-Election Policy Making is the latest installment in BGR’s Candidate Q&A Election Series, which surveyed the mayoral and City Council candidates last fall about their positions on important issues facing City government. The new report consolidates and reissues the responses of the newly elected officials who responded to the surveys, which covered topics that persist as critically important. Examples include NOPD funding, street maintenance and land use planning.

We encourage citizens to revisit the issues by reviewing the BGR research and the elected officials’ responses presented in this report. Where the officials express positions that clearly affirm or align with BGR’s recommendations, we strongly urge them to identify – and take action on – the steps necessary to achieve those goals.

Read the full report.

Read report excerpts on these issues:

Public Safety

Effective Government

Employee Compensation and Pensions

Civil Service

Professional Services Contracting

Street Maintenance

Drainage System

Local Tax Dedications

Tax Exemptions and the Tax Base

Economic Development Tax Subsidies

Land Use Planning

Filed under: Blight, Budgets, Civil Service, Contracting, Economic Development and Subsidies, Governance Issues, Government Finance, Infrastructure, Orleans Parish, Pensions, Planning Issues, Public Safety, Sewerage and Water Board, Taxation and Assessments

On the Ballot: West Jefferson Levee District Millage

Apr 10, 2018

Ballot Issues

On April 28, voters on the west bank of Jefferson Parish will decide whether to approve a new property tax for the West Jefferson Levee District. This will be the Levee District’s second attempt at a new tax to cover the increased costs of raising and armoring levees and maintaining pump stations.

Filed under: Government Finance, Infrastructure, Jefferson Parish, On the Ballot, Taxation and Assessments

City Council Members Should Regulate, Not Govern, the S&WB

Mar 29, 2018

BGR NOW billboard

Today the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) releases City Council Members Should Regulate, Not Govern, S&WB. The release addresses a bill that would, among other things, allow a member of the New Orleans City Council to sit on the Sewerage & Water Board. BGR opposes the change in board composition for the S&WB and urges instead that policymakers immediately focus on improving City Council oversight and regulation of the S&WB within the existing structure. In the longer term, stronger council oversight and regulation may not be sufficient to address the multitude of organizational and technical problems plaguing the S&WB. However, it is a better interim approach than changing the board’s composition until policymakers can determine the best long-term solutions to the S&WB’s problems.

Filed under: Infrastructure, Jefferson Parish, On the Ballot, Taxation and Assessments

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