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Analysis of government policies, finance, management, and administration

BGR Reports

BGR Examines Proposed Jefferson Transit Tax Renewals

Sep 27, 2017

Ballot Issues

In On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish Transit Tax Renewals, October 14, 2017, BGR examines the proposed 10-year renewal of two existing property taxes to operate and maintain Jefferson Parish’s public transportation system.

BGR Examines Proposed Jefferson Parish Library Tax

Apr 3, 2017

Ballot Issues

In On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish Library Tax: April 29, 2017, BGR examines the proposed 10-year renewal of an existing property tax for Jefferson Parish public libraries.

Aligning Louisiana’s Nonprofit Property Tax Exemption with National Norms

Mar 7, 2017

March 2017 nonprofit letter

In an open letter to the Louisiana Legislature, BGR reiterates the problems with the state’s unusual nonprofit property tax exemptions. The letter explains the deficiencies in the current provisions, demonstrates their unusual status in the context of other states’ requirements and presents a template for a constitutional amendment.

On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish Taxes

Nov 17, 2016

Ballot Issues

In On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish Taxes, December 10, 2016, BGR examines and takes positions on four dedicated taxes up for renewal: a sales tax for parish sewerage, road and drainage projects, law enforcement and municipal governments in Jefferson; and three property taxes for parish drainage, recreation and public schools.

BGR Cuts Paths for Pension Reform in the Metro Area

Oct 20, 2016

Pensions IV

In Reducing the Cost of Tomorrow: A Practical Guide to Pension Reform in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany Parishes, BGR explores the changes to public pension benefits policymakers can make to reduce the costs and risks associated with the pension plans. The report is the fourth installment in a series of BGR pension reports.

On the Ballot: West Bank Flood Protection, St. Tammany Charter Changes

Nov 3, 2015

On the Ballot: November 4, 2014

In On the Ballot: Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany Parishes, November 21, 2015, BGR explains, analyzes and takes positions on two tax propositions meant to sustain west bank flood protection systems and three proposed St. Tammany charter amendments.

BGR Reviews Proposed Orleans Schools Tax, Jefferson Charter Changes

Nov 6, 2014

On the Ballot: November 4, 2014

In On the Ballot: December 6, 2014, BGR explains, analyzes and takes positions on a proposed tax for the upkeep of public schools in New Orleans and 11 propositions to amend the Jefferson Parish charter.

BGR Comments on Draft Contracting Ordinance

Jun 10, 2014

In an open letter to the Jefferson Parish Council, BGR comments on a proposed ordinance that would change the parish’s process for awarding nonprofessional service contracts.

SB 469 – Does It Eliminate the Public’s Rights?

May 28, 2014

Capitol building

In this open letter to the Louisiana State Legislature, BGR expresses concern that SB 469 might permanently deprive the residents of coastal Louisiana of significant claims against the oil and gas industry and others. It provides a list of questions in need of answers before the House of Representatives votes on the bill.

Special Counsel Bill Threatens Levee Boards’ Independence

May 15, 2014

BGR Now Logo

In this release, BGR addresses a bill that would require the regional flood protection authorities to get the governor’s approval before hiring special counsel. The change would expose the flood protection authorities to political pressure and intervention from the governor.

Amended SB 79 Still Threatens Levee Boards’ Independence

Apr 22, 2014

BGR Now Logo

In this release, BGR addresses a bill that would allow the governor to unilaterally remove members of regional flood protection authorities for vague reasons. The change would expose the flood protection authorities to political pressure and intervention from the governor.

Bill Would Open Floodgates to Gubernatorial Interference

Apr 15, 2014

BGR Now Logo

In this release, BGR addresses a bill that would move the regional flood protection authorities into the executive branch. The change would expose the flood protection authorities to political pressure and intervention from the governor.

Re-Engineered Appointment Process Would Weaken Levee Board Reforms

Apr 1, 2014

BGR Now Logo

In this release, BGR raises concerns about a bill pending in the state Senate that would weaken the critical reforms of local levee boards put in place in response to the 2005 levee failures.

BGR Letter Calls for Contracting Changes

Mar 19, 2013

In this letter to the Jefferson Parish Charter Advisory Board, BGR recommends changes to the parish charter in the area of contracting.

Parish Contracting Reform Ordinance Misses the Mark

Feb 26, 2013

BGR Now Logo

In this release, BGR looks at a proposed ordinance to reform one area of service contracting in Jefferson Parish

Metro Area Pension Costs and the Factors that Drive Them

Nov 9, 2012

In The Rising Cost of Yesterday: Metro Area Pension Costs and the Factors that Drive Them, BGR examines 18 defined benefit pension plans available to local government workers in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes (the Plans). The report tallies the costs the Plans impose on local government entities in the three parishes, and compares the pension benefits they offer to those available to private sector workers and other state and local government workers across the U.S.

On the Ballot: November 6, 2012

Oct 1, 2012

Ballot Issues

In On the Ballot: November 6, 2012, BGR examines three proposed constitutional amendments, two propositions pertaining to multiple parishes in the New Orleans area, a proposed change to the City of New Orleans charter and two local tax propositions.

On the Ballot: The Crescent City Connection Toll Proposition

Aug 15, 2012

CCC Tolls Ballot Issue

In On the Ballot: The Crescent City Connection Toll Proposition, BGR examines tolls on the bridge in the context of the proposition on the ballot in Jefferson, Orleans and Plaquemines parishes.

BGR Report Calls for Reforms to Contracting in Jefferson

May 10, 2012

JP Contracting

In Private Services in the Public Interest: Reforming Jefferson Parish’s Unusual Approach to Service Contracting, BGR shines light on contracting in the parish and makes recommendations for reforms.

BGR Launches Exploration of Public Pensions

Apr 19, 2012

Pensions Cover 2

Understanding Pensions: A Primer on Public Employee Pension Plans is the first in a series of reports on the public pension plans in which local governments in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes participate.

Your Tax Dollars at Work - and in Retirement

Mar 28, 2012

BGR Now Logo

This edition of Now looks at the issue of public pension costs.

Making Choice Right: Can Private School Vouchers Live Up to Their Promises?

Mar 13, 2012

Voucher Report Cover

In Making Choice Right: Can Private School Vouchers Live Up to Their Promises? BGR examines the statewide school voucher program that the Governor is proposing, as well as the pilot program that has been in effect in Orleans Parish since 2008.

BGR Examines Local, State Items on Fall Ballots

Oct 6, 2011

Ballot Issues

In On the Ballot: Local and State Propositions, October and November 2011, BGR examines charter amendments in Jefferson and Orleans parishes, tax propositions in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany parishes, and six amendments to the state constitution.

BGR Examines Four Jefferson Parish Ballot Propositions

Apr 12, 2011

Ballot Issues

On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish, April 30, 2011 examines one sales tax proposition and three property tax propositions. The propositions include taxes for schools and drainage.

On the Ballot: Jefferson Transit Taxes

Mar 16, 2009

On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish, April 4, 2009

In On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish, April 4, 2009, BGR examines two transit taxes up for renewal by voters.

On the Ballot: November 2008

Oct 14, 2008

On the Ballot: Jefferson, Orleans and State Propositions, November 2008 (10/14/08) provides analysis of local propositions as well as amendments to the state constitution appearing on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Look Before You Leap: Tax Increment Financing in Jefferson Parish

Jul 22, 2008

Look Before You Leap - Jefferson Parish TIF

Look Before You Leap: Tax Increment Financing in Jefferson Parish provides an overview of tax increment financing (TIF) and describes four TIF districts proposed in Jefferson Parish. It also reviews the perceived benefits of TIF, as well as the pitfalls and potential abuses of the mechanism. It concludes with recommendations concerning the future use of TIF in Jefferson Parish.

Jefferson Parish Ballot Propositions

Mar 22, 2007

In On the Ballot, BGR analyzes three tax propositions to go before voters in Jefferson Parish on March 31, 2007. The propositions would provide funding for the public schools, recreation and drainage.

One Need, One Levee Board

Feb 8, 2006

Part of a series of web-based reports BGR began publishing following the 2005 disaster.

Funds and Games: Paying for the Saints

Jan 26, 2005

The New Orleans Saints and the State of Louisiana are in the midst of negotiations that will determine whether the Saints remain in New Orleans. Sports subsidies present communities with difficult political and financial decisions. In this report, BGR seeks to provide policymakers and the public with background information relevant to current negotiations with the Saints.

Issues on the November 2, 2004 Ballot

Oct 20, 2004

In this report, BGR analyzes two of four state constitutional amendments that will appear on the November 2 ballot. The two amendments would modify the homestead exemption and the veterans’ preference. In addition, BGR provides voters in New Orleans with information on a proposed $260 million bond issue and Jefferson Parish voters with information on two ballot propositions that would exchange one set of property tax dedications for a different set of dedications.

April 17, 2004 Ballot Issue

Apr 17, 2004

BGR analyzes the property tax renewal, considering the taxpayers’ investment and its importance to the school system.

Jefferson Parish Fiscal Outlook

Mar 25, 2004

BGR predicts tight financial times ahead for Jefferson. What can the Parish do about it? This report offers an array of options for keeping the parish coffers filled.

Issues on the October 4, 2003 Ballot

Oct 4, 2003

This report describes the propositions on the October 2003 ballot, provides background information, and analyzes the propositions, presenting the arguments for and against them. The report also includes BGR’s positions on the issues.

Jefferson Parish Charter Amendments November 5, 2002 Ballot

Oct 21, 2002

On November 5, 2002, Jefferson Parish voters will be asked to approve four propositions that together offer eight amendments to the existing parish home rule charter. The propositions bear directly on term limits and council structure, among other issues.

City of Harahan Demographics, Finances, and Employee Salaries

Sep 24, 2001

This report examines the history and current state of the operating budget and compares revenues and expenditures, including salaries, with those of comparable Louisiana cities.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: Jefferson Parish Public School System Performance and Financial Review

Jun 11, 2001

This Outlook discusses the financial challenges facing the JPPSS and the current academic performance of its schools.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: The Jefferson Parish School Board Budget

Oct 11, 1999

The purpose of this issue is to provide an update on fiscal status of the Jefferson Parish Public Schools with a focus on the revised FY1999 and the adopted FY2000 operating budgets.

New Orleans International Airport: Governance, Regional Cooperation and Airport Expansion

Jun 9, 1999

An analysis of conditions limiting the physical expansion of New Orleans International Airport (NOIA); approaches to regional cooperation used by airports in similar geopolitical circumstances (with ownership and authority over the airport in one political jurisdiction, the airport in another, and a need to expand in a third); and recommendations for changes by NOIA.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: Tax Renewal on March 27 Election Ballot

Mar 19, 1999

An analysis of four dedicated property tax millages on the ballot for renewal in Jefferson Parish. All millages were renewed.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: Jefferson Parish Government Finances

Feb 25, 1999

An overview of Jefferson Parish government and the parish’s fiscal outlook, including final general government revenues and expenditures between 1988 and 1997, and an examination of the 1999 Jefferson Parish adopted budget.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: The Department of Public Works

Nov 16, 1998

In this issue, BGR focuses on one specific area of local government—the public works function. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief overview of how this department is organized, where it receives its funding and how it spends its resources.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: The Jefferson Parish School Board

Jul 13, 1998

This issue of the BGR Outlook on Jefferson examines the Jefferson Parish School Board’s finances. The 16-page report analyzes the factors leading to recent operating budget deficits and discusses potential solutions.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: The Sheriff and the District Attorney

Aug 1, 1997

Second in a new series of reports highlighting the finances of Jefferson Parish Government. Baseline report on the finances of the Office of the District Attorney and the Office of the Sheriff in Jefferson Parish. Also highlights juvenile crime in the parish.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: The Parish Council

Apr 14, 1997

First in a new series of reports highlighting the finances of Jefferson Parish government. Overview of parish general-purpose government revenues and expenditures over the past ten years and comparison of current-year operating budget.

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