‘LaPolitics:’ The Crescent City tax train; Richmond still rising

    As she enters her second year in office, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is making an aggressive push to bring more revenue into her city.

    With little wiggle room in the municipal budget and a daunting list of public works projects to address, Cantrell and her administration are actively exploring options that would allow them to bring more tax dollars home.

    “I’m owning the infrastructure needs of this city, which will require an additional $80 million to $100 million a year, so that we can not only fix but that we can maintain infrastructure in this city,” the mayor tells LaPolitics in an extensive interview.

    It is no secret that New Orleans has a glaring infrastructure problem. Potholes are as ubiquitous in the Crescent City as po-boys, and street flooding has become increasingly common in recent years. In Cantrell’s view, the current state of affairs is unacceptable.

    “I’m just looking to get a little bit more of what we generate, so we can do better on infrastructure,” the mayor said.

    —New Orleans Congressman Cedric Richmond, a Democrat who represents portions of the greater Baton Rouge area, has landed a new post in the incoming House Democratic leadership. Richmond’s new role will be assistant to the Majority Whip, a job that will make him the “right-hand man” to incoming Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina. The position is a new one, created by Clyburn and incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and it will make Richmond the number four man in the leadership. With Pelosi already announcing her intentions to step aside in 2022, the New Orleans pitching ace is in a prime position to move up the Democrats’ pecking order.

    —The Louisiana Budget Project has released a new set district fact sheets, tabulating figures such as “district-by-district data on poverty, Medicaid enrollment, education, incomes, the safety net, and other important statistics.” LBP has complied sheets for all 105 House districts and 39 Senate seats. See the district fact sheets.

    —Former state Sen. Marty Chabert of Terrebonne Parish has been named as the new chairman of the Board of Regents. He will officially take the gavel with the state’s top higher-ed board at their January meeting.

    They said it: “Nerdy constitutional writer.” —Congressman Mike Johnson, R-Shreveport, when asked by a reporter with The Hill to describe himself.

    Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.   

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