Forward New Orleans
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City Finance

To guarantee the financial health of our city and the continuation of critical city services, elected officials must act as responsible fiduciaries of taxpayer funds.

The City Finance Platform

 

+ Commit to maintaining a balanced budget.

Commit to achieving and maintaining a balanced budget for each fiscal year during your term. Pledge fidelity to the budgetary practices that have resulted in a balanced budget and an A+ or better credit rating by Standard and Poors, including: implementation of the Budgeting for Outcomes process; meaningful collaboration among the Administration, City Council and public on a year-round basis; regular, public budget updates by the Department of Finance; and holding department heads accountable for operating within their budgetary limits. Work within the boundaries of recurring revenues. Require four-year fiscal notes when considering legislation that affects the operating budget, and use projections to improve resource allocation.

+ Recognize performance measurement and reporting as key components to effective and balanced fiscal governance.

Commit to data-driven accountability by preserving performance measurement as a governing and budgetary tool. Maintain an independent, fully staffed office dedicated to performance management and open data reporting. Continue to track department and program goals based on data analysis through this office. Require performance reports, including underlying data, to the City Council semi-annually to guide budgetary decision making.

+ Identify and support the reforms necessary to ensure the long-term health of municipal pension systems.

Within six months of taking office, work collectively with the Administration, New Orleans Municipal Employee Retirement System Board, and City employees to develop, introduce, and adopt a package of amendments to the existing municipal employee pension system that will position NOMERS to be 85% funded within ten years, while maintaining reasonable benefits for current and future employees. Ensure the package supports long-term functionality and sustainability, with appropriate oversight and management. If already passed, ensure implementation of reforms within the first six months of taking office. Be vigilant in monitoring the New Orleans Fire Department and S&WB pension systems; work with their governing bodies to make proactive adjustments where necessary.

+ Ensure robust collection of sales tax revenue.

Work with the Department of Revenue to develop performance measures around sales tax collection, including: the total number of sales tax audits performed, internally and by external auditors; the amount of revenue collected as a result of internally and externally performed audits; overall sales tax revenue collected; and the cost of external audits. Measure performance against comparable municipalities. Publicly report on these measures to the City Council on a quarterly basis.

+ Improve financial and operational controls for the consolidated Municipal and Traffic Court.

Develop, introduce, and support legislation requiring an independent, external audit of the Municipal and Traffic Court on an annual basis. Continue to implement the financial controls identified in the OIG’s 2016 report on municipal court funding, including funding court operations entirely through general fund appropriations. Implement the changes detailed in the Court Consolidation Plan. Support the development of a publicly accessible court data system that includes searchable information, including the following: case name and docket information; scheduled hearing dates; municipal charges; and outstanding warrants/attachments.