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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wooley finally gets the numbers

Shreveport City Councilman Bryan Wooley finally got the answers he wanted. Now, Mayor Cedric Glover must wait again for Wooley's response.

Three days after Wooley and Glover's dust-up at the dais, CAO Tom Dark e-mailed Wooley and several others more data about a proposal from Glover that would provide tax incentives for certain police officers.

Glover's proposal would give a tax break to police officers who live in the city and drive take-home cars. The incentive pay would have been equal to the amount of property taxes paid to the city. Wooley led a push to postpone voting on the proposal until he had more information on the impact to the budget or more up-to-date studies about the program's success in other communities.

The delay sparked a brief, but colorful, squabble between the mayor and the first-term councilman.

But Glover - through Dark - followed up Friday with more information about the program, showing an annual cost of roughly $117,100.

The city came up with that figure by assuming 200 officers would have take-home cars (175 actually have cars now) and using the median value of a single-family home in Shreveport ($125,600). With city property taxes set at 46.64 mills, a $125,600 home would generate $585.50 in annual property taxes. So, multiply that figure by 200 and presto, a more concrete number.

Wooley, who genuinely seemed hurt by Glover's sharp words last Tuesday, said he was satisfied with the city's response.

“I’m very appreciative that I have received the information that I requested. It is important to me when it comes to working with and dealing with the budget that I have definitive numbers,”
Wooley said earlier this week. "It was also important to receive this in writing. We were about to vote on a (resolution) and there were no numbers in front of us to review. That’s important - to have those numbers in front of us to review ourselves.”

Wooley said he was still mulling over the numbers before deciding how to vote. The vote is set to come at the council's meeting on Tuesday.


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