Sunday, November 05, 2006

Against One Assessor

Amendment 7 on the ballot would reduce the number of assessors in Orleans Parish from seven to one. BGR is for it; Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans is for it; I Quit is for it. Nearly everyone I know is for it. I have heard all of the arguments for consolidation, and they all make sense. Then why am I against it? The consolidated assessor will hold the most powerful position in the City, and the person ultimately elected to that position may not be the scrupulously fair person that proponents of the amendment envision. Supporters of the amendment picture someone like an IQ ticket candidate as the future assessor. I picture someone from the Morial or Jefferson camps. I also understand there is supposed to be transparency; I understand that properly valuing all properties should lead to a reduction in the overall tax rate. When is the last time a state or local tax has been reduced? I think that the voters who favor consolidation will be sorely disappointed if it passes and a Morial or Jefferson clone is elected.

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