Sunday, February 26, 2006

Light At The End Of The Tunnel Or Is That A Train?

Today's Times Picayune carries an excelent article on the status of the recovery effort in the New Orleans area. According to the peice, people are starting to get a good idea of what areas are looking at recovery and which aren't.

Also addressed are methods that the government is taking to promote recovery.

Kroloff believes a key to the plan's ultimate success will lie in what sorts of incentives the government can offer to make the plan's vision a reality. For instance, he said the state's plan to offer a better deal to homeowners who resettle in Louisiana is a smart one. On the local level, he believes the city may be able to package blighted and abandoned property in ways that make it attractive to investors. Washington, D.C., underwent a remarkable turnaround in the past decade through the use of such local tax incentives, he said.

"The great thing about tax incentives and development incentives is they don't rob the treasury," Kroloff said. "You're talking about properties that have no tax value now. I really hope we pull all the incentive packages and the planning on the table at the same time, and say, 'Let's make this better than it was before.'

"Wouldn't it be nice if five years from now we were talking about how New Orleans is busting at the seams instead of busted?"

I agree that tax incentives should be made to those who resettle but the government needs to address the financial straits that flooded homeowners have been placed in because of the negligence of the Corps of Engineers.

The fact is that everyone in the area will pay a price. Even those that did not flood will be looking at higher insurance premiums. Even me personally am expecting my flood insurance to increase even though I built on the edge of a flood plain and built higher than the mimimun above BFE (Base Flood Elevation).

So not only should the federal government bail out those who lost property but the insurance industry as well for they took a financial hit too, but as usual, the average Joe is left to pay the piper.

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