“If we’re really serious about changing where we get our power, then we need to get serious about who has it” Jackson Koeppel
Valerie Wilson, Robbin Shipp, Doreen Carer, Connie Stokes, and Liz Johnson: School Superintendent, labor commissioner, secretary of state, Lieutenant governor, and insurance commissioner, respectively.
This Charter change will institutionalize the contracting reforms that Mayor Landrieu put in place and enshrine the city’s disadvantage business enterprise (DBE) program in the charter. The goal is to level the playing field for small, local businesses and ensure that contracts are awarded based on what you know, not who you know. Without protection in the Charter, the next Mayor could reverse contracting reform and the disadvantaged business program could be eliminated with four votes and the stroke of a pen.
Louisiana State Representative Austin Badon said, “This measure strengthens the City’s commitment to ensuring contracting and DBE programs work for everyone. It is critical that we protect the changes already made as part of the City’s charter.”
District D Councilmember Jared Brossett said, “For the first time in our city’s history we will be able to enshrine the City’s DBE consideration, contracting and procurement policies into the City’s charger. This a significant step for our city, obligating all future administrations to establish and follow sound DBE and contracting practices. This is a testament to the future of New Orleans.” The City Charter Amendment on City Contracting has been endorsed by The Advocate, the Gambit and the Bureau of Governmental Research.
This proposition allows the City of New Orleans to pay for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office consent decree without raising taxes or cutting services.
This proposition will help the City pay for the consent decree with an existing millage – the 2.9 Law Enforcement District millage. Under current law, this revenue can only be spent to build things, but the City needs money to pay for operations at the jail. With the passage of this proposition, the City will not collect any more taxes. Rather, the City will have the flexibility to spend your tax dollars more wisely.
With its passage, as much as $8 million will be available in future years to pay for new court-ordered mental health treatment and medical care at the jail. However, if this proposition does not pass, the City still has to pay the bill. To pay for it, the City would have to cut city services.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman said, “A favorable vote for the Law Enforcement District Proposition will maintain the current tax rate while allowing for funds that are no longer needed for debt service to be shifted to the operations of the correctional complex. I am pleased to join the Mayor in voting on this measure.”
Business Council Chairman Paul Flower said, “The Business Council supports the Law Enforcement District Proposition because it is using an existing millage, not increasing taxes, to pay for mandated services. This is a good and smart way to proceed.”
Both the Sheriff and the Mayor are supporting this proposition. The Law Enforcement District Proposition has been endorsed by The Advocate, the Gambit, the League of Women Voters, The Collaborative and the Bureau for Governmental Research.
In the last decade, student loan debt has become a major hindrance to young college graduates entering the home buying market.
In 2003, student debt was a blip on the larger debt spectrum, falling well below the national rates of auto and credit card lending markets. However, in the more than 10 years since then, student loan debt has skyrocketed, ballooning from just $241 billion to $1.1 trillion in June 2014, which amounts to a compound annual growth rate of roughly 15 percent. For perspective, cumulative credit card debt stands at $669 billion, while auto lending is slightly more significant at $905 billion.
The Impact on Housing
The impact the increasing prevalence of student loans has had on real estate is considerable, according to a separate financial study from John Burns Real Estate Consulting. In 2014, the company projects:
414,000 housing transactions will be lost due to student debt.
Lost transactions will amount to $83 billion in foregone sales.
As a result of student debt, 8 percent fewer homes will transact than normal.
A New Millennia
In our modern economic climate, it’s easy to look at student debt as this long, persisting fungus that clings and spreads and is essentially unavoidable – a means to a beneficial end, which, in some ways, it is. But the idea of student debt being part of the whole “college experience” wasn’t set in stone until the turn of the millennium.
In the early 90s, according data from the Pew Research Center, college graduates were hardly coming out of school racked with outrageous debt. Of course, some students left university dragging the burden, but those few were relegated to graduates coming from already low-income families.For the class of 1992-93, the average amount of cumulative debt facing students was just over $12,000. Twenty years later, that figure has more than doubled. In 2012, the average college graduate left with $26,885 of cumulative debt.
The Dallas Fed argues that the benefits of college still tend to outweigh the costs, and that rising student debt levels may be the result of expanding enrollment levels and expected rises in tuition rates and fees, but the fact remains that student debt is more and more keeping Millennials out of the homebuying market.
New legislation from the Obama administration, namely an expansion of the 2013 Student Loan Forgiveness Act, promises to alleviate some of the pressures of building loan debt. However, the benefits won’t available to borrowers until, at the earliest, December 2015, and even then the legislation fails to address the larger problem, which is the rising cost of tuition
– See more at: http://atlantaagentmagazine.com/student-loan-debt-takes-toll-housing/#sthash.fh2j2eB9.dpuf (James McClister October 24, 2014)
\You’ve found your dream home. Make sure missteps don’t prevent a successful closing. A home purchase isn’t complete until you make it to the closing. Until then, the transaction can fall apart for many reasons. Here are five tips for avoiding mistakes that cause a home sale to crater.
1. Be truthful on your mortgage application -You may think fudging your income a little or omitting debts when applying for a mortgage will go unnoticed. Not true. Lenders have become more diligent in verifying information on mortgage applications. If you fib, expect to be found out and denied the loan you need to fund your home purchase. Plus, intentionally lying on a mortgage application is a crime.
2. Hold off on big purchases- Lenders double-check buyers’ credit right before the closing to be sure their financial condition hasn’t weakened. If you’ve opened new credit cards, significantly increased the balance on existing cards, taken out new loans, or depleted your savings, your credit score may have dropped enough to make your lender change its mind on funding your home loan. Although it’s tempting to purchase new furniture and other items for your new home, or even a new car, wait until after the closing.
3. Keep your job- The lender may refuse to fund your loan if you quit or change jobs before you close the purchase. The time to take either step is after a home closing, not before.
4. Meet contingencies- If your contract requires you to do something before the sale, do it. If you’re required to secure financing, promptly provide all the information the lender requires. If you must deposit additional funds into escrow, don’t stall. If you have 10 days to get a home inspection, call the inspector immediately.
5. Consider deadlines immovable- Get your funds together a week or so before the closing, so you don’t have to ask for a delay. If you’ll need to bring a certified check to closing, get it from the bank the day before, not the day of, your closing. Treat deadlines as sacrosanct.
This amendment raises the cap on the millage dedicated to police and fire protection in Orleans Parish. This is not a tax increase. Instead, this amendment gives the City the same flexibility and authority that every other municipality already possesses. With its passage, in future years, the City Council can ask the voters of Orleans Parish to consider an increase to pay for enhanced police and fire protection. Under the existing law, the City of New Orleans cannot increase the millage dedicated to public safety to pay for more police officers.
State Representative Joseph Bouie Jr., District 97
State Representative Joseph Bouie Jr. , District 97
Louisiana Representative Joseph Bouie said, “I believe that Amendment #6 represents a solution to enhancing fire and police protection by giving the voters of Orleans Parish the final decision.”
Constitutional Amendment 6 has been endorsed by The Advocate, the Times-Picayune, the Gambit, the Shreveport Times, the Bureau for Governmental Research and the Council for a Better Louisiana.