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Monroe News-Star

No. 7 shrinks the size of New Orleans' government

October 29, 2006

Author: Kathleen Blanco

Last month, Louisianians took to voting booths across our state and supported a slate of Constitutional Amendments that will restore our fragile coast, make our communities more secure and promote the productive economic development that will define our great state. On Tuesday, we have another opportunity to take a bold step forward.

Our efforts to rebuild Louisiana are far from over. I ask for your consideration of Constitutional Amendment No. 7, which consolidates government in New Orleans by reducing the number of assessors from seven to one. This measure will move Louisiana forward and remind the nation that we are committed to reform and change for the long term.

The next step in our recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is the reorganization of inefficient government. Amendment No. 7, introduced by State Sen. Ann Duplessis and State Rep. Austin Badon, consolidates Orleans Parish assessors from seven to a single assessor. This paves the way for fair and equitable assessment practices and signifies our commitment to seeing our state come back better than before.

Sound public policy and improved efficiency means a substantial annual savings to taxpayers of Orleans Parish and across our state as well.

We all agree that eliminating unnecessary expenses are vital to recovery efforts. My commitment to fiscal responsibility is strong. This reform would result in an efficient, streamlined and well-managed government that puts people before politics. Residents of Orleans Parish will no longer experience widely varying assessments within the parish. We need a balanced system that does not under-tax some at the expense of others.

Every other parish in Louisiana has one assessor and the major metropolitan areas of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City each have only one assessor as well. Passage of this amendment will improve productivity by placing sole and definitive accountability on just one office.

We are united in our vision of a more efficient government and determined to see this measure succeed. More than 35 local and statewide organizations, including Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, endorse this amendment. I want to thank every individual and organization who stood with me this week in support of this constitutional amendment.



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September 2006