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Concrete rules best to mitigate order's effect

Even if Baton Rouge or every other local government now permitted to rule on property tax exemptions always gave maximal breaks, the damage has been done for at least the next 21 months.

Within a year of assuming office, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an executive order regarding the Industrial Tax Exemption Program. The law it addressed allows the governor to cancel local property taxes entirely for up to 10 years.

Edwards changed that, saying he would allow only five years’ worth at 100 percent and three more at 80 percent. Further, he would allow local government input that could make those numbers even less advantageous.


Wackos prove necessity of curbing their zeal

Even as they complain about the possibility, environmentalist wacko protesters prove the point of the necessity of a Louisiana law that could limit their tantrums.

HB 727 by state Rep. Major Thibaut would add pipelines to the category of critical infrastructure. The state already protects from trespassing at these various sites such as power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants, water treatment facilities, and natural gas terminals. Violators could draw as many as 15 years in prison with a $10,000 fine, going up to 20 years and $25,000 if the action could threaten human life or disrupt site operations. And, conspiracy to do so carries the same penalty.

He introduced the bill on Apr. 2, less than a week after unknown apparent protestors damaged equipment at a Bayou Bridge pipeline construction site. Environmentalist groups have vigorously fought the pipeline’s presence, ultimately losing regulatory and court battles, although many forswear the use of violence to achieve their ends.


Legislature still acting unwisely on tuition control

Here we go again with the Louisiana Legislature missing again on something commonsensical that puts it out of step with the rest of the country to the detriment of the state’s people.

Last week, the House of Representatives turned back HB 418 by Rep. Barry Ivey that would have allowed the state’s four higher education management boards to set their own tuition, subject to some parameters. Currently, Louisiana is but one of two states that require legislative input into tuition hikes.

The bill would have limited increases to 10 percent annually and no more than 20 percent total over four years. Further, it would have exempted recipients of Taylor Opportunity Program for Scholars awards, meaning during the course of the award for a student that state taxpayers would not have to increase their effort to cover any rise in tuition.