One year after wresting control of industrial tax breaks away from a statewide board and into the hands of the local government entities affected by them, Together Baton Rouge released a report detailing how 2017 tax breaks impacted one community: East Baton Rouge. According to the report, the tax exemption cost local schools, sheriff, government, parks, libraries, fire and health departments $139 Million, just in 2017.Read more
When petrochemical companies operating in rural Louisiana attempted to directly negotiate an industrial tax discount with the local parish (county), the effort ran up against the Louisiana Constitution. The local tax assessor sued and the state courts ruled that the agreement violated the Constitution. Developers then crafted House Bill 444, a constitutional amendment that would legalize direct negotiations with local governments. The amendment would allow corporations to work around Industrial Tax Exemption Program reforms recently won by Together Louisiana.Read more
Leaders are additionally working to build support for local workforce development program ACTS (Another Chance to Succeed) as a key element in reducing poverty-driven crime.Read more
Eight months after their victory in reforming the state Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), leaders of Together Louisiana noticed that industrial tax exemptions spiked 441% in its last year (2016), with the majority of tax exemptions granted after the reforms passed. They additionally noticed that the Commerce and Industry Board reversed the wording of the measure to undermine the reform that would have limited exemptions to proposals that had secured the approval of the local municipalities sacrificing the revenue.Read more
Together Baton Rouge leaders are continuing their work on law enforcement practices, including the recent release of a study on neighborhood disparities in drug possession enforcement.Read more
Together Baton Rouge Grills Candidates on Law Enforcement, Tax Exemptions, Flood Relief & 'Food Deserts'
Says Together Baton Rouge (part of the Together Louisiana network): "These reforms haven't gone far enough yet, but what has changed already on Louisiana's biggest corporate subsidy program is historic.Read more
With Louisiana as the state with the third highest number of poor people, many of them working full-time, Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith leaders are devising new ways to tackle poverty. Says Pastor Clayton Moore, "If you work, how is it that you're poor?"
NCLI leaders have launched Another Chance to Succeed (ACTS), modeling itself on Project QUEST in San Antonio and NOVA in Monroe, Louisiana. The goal is to train adults into higher wage jobs of at least $15 / hour. ACTS is targeting January 2017 as its start-up date.Read more
Then, according to Together Baton Rouge (TBR), sister IAF organizations across the country began contacting their congressional representatives and senators urging them to support the funding package â€” across partisan lines. Together Baton Rouge posted a video that, in less than one day, was viewed 55,000 times as leaders quickly spread its message urging people to contact their congressional representatives.Read more