Naquin called out for scary donor letter

by Walter Pierce

The District 6 incumbent’s suggestion that a 300-percent tax increase is imminent called ‘dead wrong’ by public works director.

Photo Illustration ... d'uh

Andy Naquin wants to scare money out of donors’ pockets. He did so in a recent fundraising letter that suggested without expressly saying that steep property-tax increases could be on the horizon — unless voters re-elect him to serve a bulwark against the tax-and-spend crazies.

He based his claim on a presentation this past May by Chuck Marohn and Joe Minicozzi, consultants hired by Lafayette Consolidated Government to study the parish’s growth patterns and develop a tool for getting the most bang out of our infrastructure-spending buck. The 300 percent tax increase was a worst-case scenario the pair used to demonstrate how Lafayette’s historic growth patterns are putting undue pressure on our budget resources. Oh, and Naquin didn’t attend that meeting, he admits, but based his sky-falling donor letter on media reports.

Kevin Blanchard, LCG’s director of public works, tells The Advertiser that Naquin is “dead wrong.”

We should extend that characterization to District 5 incumbent Jared Bellard, who made much the same claim in a letter of his own that appears to have been written by the same political hack that penned Naquin’s letter. We make this observation because Naquin’s letter head has Bellard’s home address, an apparent oversight by whoever wrote the letter (and we have our suspicions).

Compare claims made in the Naquin and Bellard letters (emphasis ours):

Naquin: “When LCG Consultants unveiled their ‘model’ ... they called for only one conclusion — the need for a massive increase in property taxes of over 300%. A little basic math should tell you that such a tax increase would cost you literally thousand of dollars! This massive increase, they contend, is to simply maintain ‘existing infrastructure’ and the only alternative, they claim, would be devastating cuts to services.”

Bellard: ... the LCG Consultants hired to develop the [comprehensive] plan revealed their “model” and “data visualization tool.” As described on their blog, the new model developed for LCG assumes the necessity of a massive increase in property taxes. The example they cite, of a median priced ($150,000) home — should pay an additional $3,300 per year — “just to maintain the existing infrastructure.” The only alternative, they claim, is drastic cuts to services.”

Read more here.