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Caddo Interfaith Coalition Expresses Concerns On Industrial Tax Exemption Programs

Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

GROUP QUESTIONS  TAX EXEMPTIONS-  A multi-faith coalition of clergy and lay persons along with people from Together Louisiana  have expressed concerns over  recent  applications for Industrial Tax Exemptions  from two companies in Caddo Parish… exemptions they feel would not only hurt Caddo Parish Schools…but are possibly unconstitutional.  A press conference took place Monday  before  a  meeting of the Caddo Commission's Economic Development Committee.  Members of the coalition read from prepared statements citing that if the exemptions applied for by the companies:  Calumet Lubricants and Waxes  

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News
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Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News
EXPRESSES CONCERNS - Susan Caldwell, member of the Interfaith Coalition summarizes group concerns at a press conference Monday over ITEP applications which may be unconstitutional.

and Inferno Manufacturing are approved it could wind up in a loss of $5.8 million dollars in revenue for Caddo Parish. Coalition Member Susan Caldwell summarized their concerns. "We want to make it clear we are not anti-business nor are we opposed to industrial tax exemptions" explained Caldwell. " We think they should be married to a model of economic development that says invest in us, invest in a skilled workforce, invest  in better roads and bridges. Invest in better pre-K, better investment in our K-12 education.  We could have better sewerage and drainage, and cleaner air.  Caldwell went on to offer information from legal counsel that had the opinion such retroactive tax exemption could be "unconstitutional".   As to the outcome of Monday’s  meeting  the  Economic Development Committee voted 4-1 to recommend approval of Inferno's  exemption application  to  the whole Commission for a vote on Thursday.   Calumet’s applications  were found to be incomplete and were tabled . The Full Caddo Commission meets again this Thursday

Credit Courtesy: caddo.org
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Courtesy: caddo.org
Caddo Commissioners during recent work session.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.