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  • Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/30/nagin.plan/index.html

    Nagin outlined his vision for the help he wants from the federal government, including significant income tax breaks.

    The mayor said he also wants the federal government to create an incentive zone in New Orleans that would give city residents a 50 percent credit on their income tax bill. Businesses also would get a tax credit equal to 50 percent of their total payroll.

    The tax breaks would last for seven years or until the city's population returns to the level it was before Katrina, he said.

    Nagin said he has asked the White House for federal help in "immediately" rebuilding the levee system to protect the city from a Category 3 storm.

    Once that short-term project is in place, the mayor said he wants the system to be upgraded so that it can withstand a Category 5 storm, the most intense classification.

    Nagin proposed a light rail system he envisions would go from downtown to the Louis Armstrong International Airport, west of the city, and then on to Baton Rouge, about 80 miles away.

    It would serve "as another mass evacuation tool that could be used before, during or after a storm," he said.
    Should Federal taxpayers shoulder most or all of the bill to rebuild NO back to the way it was before?

  • #2
    Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

    Income tax breaks? Wouldn't the normal thing to do be property tax and construction tax breaks?

    Maybe the Feds should stipulate that they build the city above sea level this time.

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    • #3
      Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

      I think that federal tax breaks are an excellent way to rebuild NOLA. Tax breaks like that will ensure that businesses swoop in from all over the country to take advantage of an area conducive to doing business. And we all know that private businesses are more efficient than the federal gov't at getting things done.

      I don't think the federal gov't should be actually spending much more than that, though. Sending in the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild levees? Cool. Sending aid that's unavailable to NO and LA? Cool. Sending money? Not cool. The tax breaks should be the extent of federal funding and should be calculated to be equivalent to the money that would normally be spent on such an emergency. If they're equivalent, as I said, the attraction to businesses would make it worth more to the affected area.

      And my son wants me to put the "goofy guy" in this post: :madsmile:
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      • #4
        Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

        I'm for any major rebuilding and relief effort all throughout the gulf coast, just so long as they establish some strong anti-corruption measures similar to FDR's programs. I don't think they are going to do that though, and many friends of friends of friends are going to walk off with a lot of federal monies.
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        • #5
          Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

          What I didn't like was given everyone in N.O. a 50% credit on their income taxes for the next 7 years (possibly).

          I don't mind federal resources being spent to rebuild, but giving everyone a credit of that much for that long doesn't seem fair to those that also live in areas that can experience natural disasters but take actions to prevent the devastation seen in N.O.

          I mean, they choose to live in an area that is below sea level. They simply shouldn't be rewarded for chosing to live in that area.

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          • #6
            Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

            Originally posted by Wolfie
            What I didn't like was given everyone in N.O. a 50% credit on their income taxes for the next 7 years (possibly).

            I don't mind federal resources being spent to rebuild, but giving everyone a credit of that much for that long doesn't seem fair to those that also live in areas that can experience natural disasters but take actions to prevent the devastation seen in N.O.

            I mean, they choose to live in an area that is below sea level. They simply shouldn't be rewarded for chosing to live in that area.
            7 years? No, I think that's a bit much... But having that kind of discount (not credit) for 3 years seems reasonable. Make the area a "no tax" zone for six months to entice private business to get in there and rebuild. Then the 50% discount for the following two years in order to help people and businesses get back on their feet.

            This isn't rewarding anyone, it's just making it easier for them to rebuild.
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            • #7
              Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

              I choose to live in an area that, in terms of geologic time, is prone to meteor strikes. If a meteor wiped out a good chunk of my state, I might feel the federal government could spare some cash to help us put it back together.

              We all live in places that could be destroyed or significantly damaged by any number of disasters. Life comes with certain inherent risks to person and property. The point of rebuilding NO is that it is a potential open wound to the economy and infrastructure of the nation. As such it needs to be treated for the health of the whole country.
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              • #8
                Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

                Originally posted by CingularDuality
                7 years? No, I think that's a bit much... But having that kind of discount (not credit) for 3 years seems reasonable. Make the area a "no tax" zone for six months to entice private business to get in there and rebuild. Then the 50% discount for the following two years in order to help people and businesses get back on their feet.

                This isn't rewarding anyone, it's just making it easier for them to rebuild.
                I guess my biggest problem with this is that it is only being proposed to apply to N.O. What about everyone else that was effected during Hurrican Katrina? What about Hurricane Rita? What about every other natural disaster out there?

                By what I have been reading, the people in LA will be receiving alot of support from the Federal government to rebuild their lives with aid and such. Giving them a tax discount just because they choose to live in an area that is several feet below sea level seems a bit lopsided to me.

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                • #9
                  Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

                  Originally posted by Wolfie
                  I guess my biggest problem with this is that it is only being proposed to apply to N.O. What about everyone else that was effected during Hurrican Katrina? What about Hurricane Rita? What about every other natural disaster out there?

                  By what I have been reading, the people in LA will be receiving alot of support from the Federal government to rebuild their lives with aid and such. Giving them a tax discount just because they choose to live in an area that is several feet below sea level seems a bit lopsided to me.
                  None of the other areas are as vital to this nation's economy as New Orleans is...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

                    Well, if we can spend 100s of $billions on a foreign country that we have little hope of changing, we can certainly spend some money on our own freaking country, don't ya think?

                    3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

                      I think the key word is "spend". We should never spend $100B, we should invest it. Also, one can argue that tax incentives to private companies and indibviduals who decide to invest in the area will be more effective than a $100B program that then must be administrered, reviewed, audited, and red-taped into uselessness.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

                        I don't know, I just find it difficult to give tax incentatives to a city that...

                        -has a violent crime rate of 1273.2 (National average is 446.1)

                        -has a murder rate of 33.9 (3.9 nationally)

                        -has a rape rate of 60.1 (32.8 nationally)

                        It is not surprising of all the issues they had of people being lawless during the recent tragedy there.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

                          Originally posted by Tempus
                          Well, if we can spend 100s of $billions on a foreign country that we have little hope of changing, we can certainly spend some money on our own freaking country, don't ya think?
                          Please read my posts completely. I didn't say not to spend any money, I said no special tax breaks in addition to all the federal aid money that is going to be sent down there to rebuild N.O.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

                            Originally posted by leejo
                            I think the key word is "spend". We should never spend $100B, we should invest it. Also, one can argue that tax incentives to private companies and indibviduals who decide to invest in the area will be more effective than a $100B program that then must be administrered, reviewed, audited, and red-taped into uselessness.
                            While I agree that most (if not all) Federal and State aid programs end up being ineffective, I don't think individuals will invest any wiser. Companies will do a better job of investing and I don't argue with giving them a tax break (jobs bring people in).

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                            • #15
                              Re: Rebuilding NO, at what cost?

                              Originally posted by IceCold
                              None of the other areas are as vital to this nation's economy as New Orleans is...
                              So is Los Angeles and there has never been a proposal like this for when they experience natural disasters.....

                              And it can be argued that by dispersing the economy (i.e. the oil industry) concentrated around N.O., future disasters would not effect the national economy as much.

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