IAF leaders in Louisiana and Mississippi demolish the opposition...
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'Together Louisiana' Reins In Backdoor Corporate Subsidies

Baton Rouge, LA -- Only months after a historic victory in the reformation of the state Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), leaders of Together Louisiana noticed that industrial tax exemptions spiked 441% in its last year (2016), with the majority of exemptions granted after the reforms had passed.  Leaders additionally noticed that the Commerce and Industry Board had reversed the wording of the reform measure in order to undermine the intent to limit exemptions to those that had secured the approval of the local municipalities sacrificing the revenue.

Unsatisfied with the explanation that the 2016 reforms were not to touch applications already in the works, 100 faith and community leaders of Together Louisiana organized a press conference right before the Board of Commerce and Industry’s meeting and then sat in on the meeting itself — demonstrating a rare presence of citizen oversight of a committee that distributed $4.9 billion in tax exemptions last year.

Under the watchful gaze of Together LA, the committee unanimously rejected six applications that directly violated last year's reform and added a “Sunshine Provision” to ITEP program rules to allow local citizens to learn when exemptions are being considered by local bodies.  Thanks to Together LA, the Louisiana Economic Development must now post notice on its website, within three days, when proposed tax expenditures are forwarded to local municipalities for consideration, thus beginning a 120 day period for public input.  [In photo: Ann Dunn addresses the press on behalf of Together Louisiana.]

Despite Gov. Bel Edwards’ Efforts to Rein It In, Tax Break Even More Lucrative for Manufacturers in 2016The Advocate [pdf]

Together LA: Corporate Giveaways Continue ApaceThe INDsider

Together Louisiana Protests Industrial Tax Exemption ProgramGreater Baton Rouge Business Report

The Ship is Not Turning: Status Update on Gov. Edwards’ Effort to Reform the Industrial Tax Exemption ProgramTogether Louisiana

Working Together Jackson Demolishes Campus Blight

Jackson, MI -  Two months after Working Together Jackson put public pressure on Jackson State University (JSU) to replace long-abandoned buildings with green space, leaders celebrated the first demolition on campus.

The demolition resulted from a collaboration initiated by Working Together Jackson in which Revitalize Mississippi Inc. agreed to demolish the properties at no cost to the JSU Development Foundation or university.

[In photo, Dr. Mary Jackson of St. Mark's Episcopal Church speaks at press conference celebrating local demolition. Photo Credit: Scott Crawford]

Nonprofit to Remove Blight in Jackson, Clarion Ledger [pdf]

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