Dec 4, 2013|
The second hour of Angela's discussion about the cost of living in New Orleans. New guests include insurance commissioner Jim Donelon, Orleans Parish tax assessor Erroll Williams, GNO President Michael Hecht, and Entercom GM Chris Claus.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
What's trending in sports, news, and entertainment?
Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Well I hope you got to listen to the first hour were talking about the cost of living in new world what does it cost to ranch or to buy a house to live. Whether it's health care cost store food. Your insurance costs. We have been so fortunate to have with this -- -- count on local real estate analyst and broker I've been. -- to -- director of the institute of economic development and real estate were searching UN now. And doctor Walter doubling. Associate professor of economics and finance -- Who never really been enlightening us. We're going to be joined very shortly by Michael Hecht and Jim O'Donnell in our insurance commissioner. But on the phone now with this is -- will in Orleans parish tax assessor. And I really appreciate you caught giving -- culture and I don't know if you were able to hear the first hour but. We're talking about the cost of living in prices that have gone up so let's start with. Our taxes. Are taxes have also gone up. We're talking since Katrina. Since Katrina actually. Before Katrina and it's actually it was a hundred is that new one mills. Per thousand and now it's 140. -- -- the rate is actually down but the assessed valuations the properties while went out. And some neighbors and in some of whom it went down because of the changes in the name. I'm not saying anything you haven't either read or heard over the years as the re assessments. But came about but there were some people who were very shocked by what they were now going to have to pay. Well this be realistic if you own a home and it wasn't properly assess their body heals when they would have been. Paying when we redid the neighborhood we tried to just those of citizens to reflect what the average. Property that I approach reform was and each respective neighborhood remember we its revenue in the unit seven districts and we. Had to break the city though but neighborhoods so. Residents and it wasn't broken down by a 393 neighborhoods. And commercials 141 neighborhood. And it's what has to geographic areas as clearly defined and we've posted information on the web and we try to use -- Just don't know there is. And yes I know we have. But to me when you get the I'm blanking. When you don't you get an exemption. Homestead homestead exemption -- off of the people who own homes. What are the percentage who pay nothing because of the homestead exemption. That doesn't exist anymore. Everybody -- something because is -- armed ballistic goals would be to Potomac area at least ten dollars and some cents per -- well I'll tell them. So that the united -- when sort of it immediately changed. What what would be the percentage of those who paid the ten dollars. Direction that could tell you go to bed of protest this research and run program -- extracted information. Because that's -- to have readily available book you know they Darrent. There have been many homes that fall under the center 5000 listed in the neighborhood that hasn't you know still there's. But because I've been repaired. Okay because today you know field to their homes you know and some of the poor neighborhoods are coming in at between 65% to 5000. And I think it's important to note that girl's really done a really good job I know he's confronted hardly discomfort but I I really believe that. And it lets you it's it's shown in the military that's come down as he fairly assesses born more property the Milledge rate has come down for people who points perished. So that it it it used to be out of removed I believe the high was saint Tammy one point 275. Males or something like. -- it's still there still 17 and it got news and some -- -- years -- that much as 200 bills -- opinion. You -- but up 60% that was going to their schools but but the point is. Orleans has become more much more attractive property tax wise than it has that it's still not close to Jefferson obviously but that it's movement it's gonna take a long time to get it. -- get those things. Well let me go back -- -- activities date of the tax collector and a back in the 81 the military would prefer nobody be bills and only spare some closure and there is when we -- -- putting it on bond issues and -- streets that we hit the -- of at least bears had to raise the taxes in order Dubuque to service the debt. And that's that's what this was -- decreased but it got it because has been. Nineteen. -- 2006 there was. 180 mills. Which you look witnessed it come down -- -- distort -- We -- particularly want to -- went in and -- to -- had been in the number of years. So would you say compared to other comparable cities. We are average or above average. Ordered we're -- pulled some numbers you just give me an idea if you weren't used to -- undertow no home with exemption it would pay 2560000. Taxes. If you read Lanny repaid 7064. Though forest playing on them all home. And -- efficient in 19145. Dollars and mobile -- -- thousand dollars. And normally it is 14100 -- 8080 dollars. And Georgia to -- -- 2052. -- feminists have been under. So you for the -- doesn't go home without adult victims and that detect -- would be. I think it's because perhaps the crazy news media that we are when they had the reassessment I guess we heard from so many people that are. Day and and granted I I believe everything you're saying that Holmes had not been assessed properly for very long time and all of a sudden hit them cult. And so you have that coupled with especially post-Katrina what we've been facing in the insurance. And it was like a double whammy. Our our experience personally like my insurance went from point 300 to sit me 200 and let -- is there -- 2000 bills 200 double home. But that -- just don't know what was coverage blood has been OK but it still but homeowners that's real expensive these days. Please stay with -- I appreciate everything you're saying and I now like we have Jim O'Donnell in our insurance commissioner on the line mr. Donald thank you as always for joining us. I agree with one and -- kind of recap as you have when you were here recently. Talking about insurance cost in Orleans parish in particular. Surely and and the comment about flood insurance that we should sprayed by your guests. Is spot on the the these draconian rates rate increases that many in our state thousands in our state. Are experiencing for the most part won't impact goes about living. In the protected by the new fifteen billion dollar improved Levy system in the immediate metropolitan or older. But of course there are those in Orleans and part platinum in Jefferson living outside of that protection. And they are in the thousands. To be impacted. But the cost of homeowners insurance for example. Over the past five years on a statewide basis has gone -- on average statewide average four and a half percent per year. If you take the two big companies that have 42%. Of our market cheered now. State farm and Allstate out of that -- over the older companies the other 60%. Overall market cheer. Have always gone up two and a half percent per year on that having said that. In the coastal parishes to include Arlington Jefferson Saint Bernard -- and all the way over to Cameron in a southwest Louisiana. If they increase -- two and a half percent statewide. It is four times that on average in the coastal parish -- 10%. So you can do the math and extrapolate what the average cost increase as being that far homeowners insurance. Post-Katrina. Well over the past -- spot here. Car insurance. Interest being in the highest in America in our biggest challenge from a great point of view. But from a competition point of view it's not we have all the major national players competing with each other. And that has caused our rates over the past five years to be black. They have gone off all four of the past obvious 1% per year. But -- ranking has dropped two and one actually dropped from third or fourth to check them off first because other states around the country. Have experienced decreases even places with historically high rates like we have had for decades. Like New Jersey like New York. Bit seeing decreases. From the soft all the markets that has existed nation why that's frankly it's coming to a gradual and it. We are seeing slight increases this year of two and 3%. On average for companies doing business in our state in the normal market this year. But for the past five the average increase has been 1% per year. But not decreasing as it has in other states. But as you mentioned earlier. Isn't true that in Orleans parish we pay 40%. More. Gets 40% more than the rest of the state has. -- ignored thirty. And Jefferson nineteen. And plaque and then 15%. According to create in -- steady my chief actuary did. Comparing the 64 parishes against the statewide average. And all the -- sport preparations deviated from the statewide average awkward you know by population. Even urban areas like. All of Shreveport. And then go back the war flat as compared to the -- perished in the world metropolitan there. And two what do you attribute that 40%. My way of describing it in a -- travel time is what I call the soft tissue industry. Consisting not just -- lawyers but some orange or. But participants in it but also to include doctors chiropractors. Physical therapist. Thought tow truck drivers. Who. -- -- -- and any minor fender Bender paternity into a maximum. Policy limits. Windfall. For themselves and the quote predictable that minor fender Bender it cost an insurance company. The minimum limits of 153020. Now. 151000 dollars to settle at -- As a legislator won a -- last year is in the legislature. I'd pass the only thing that has. Been able to be passed to address that called no pay no play. That if you are uninsured when you're predictable one of these minor accident. Or any action that you lose the first 151000 dollars of coverage available to you. When we -- our limits for 102010. To 153025. Two years three years ago the first year the governor vetoed then governor. Blanco vetoed and it wasn't because. To -- the grow up playing excellent form wanted to go on the consumer groups wanted to feature of it was because the insurance companies wanted to. More opposed to it are still opposed to it wanted to -- -- even though their premiums go well because they sell more insurance revenues Scola. Because -- they sell more insurance. They were fearful. That when you increase that notable policy from 101000 to 151000. That would be handing out a lot more of those 50000 dollar. A lot a lot more dollars. In those those minor accident cases. Please stay with this we're gonna continue our discussion on the cost of living. We are talking about the cost of living in new world ones and were so grateful that Jim O'Donnell and Carol Williams joins us. Not and now joining us is Michael -- who is head of -- you know ink. And certainly he can rave about all the incredible things that have happened in the last couple of years. -- Borland and the perspective the rest of the country. Has to -- are our wonderful business climate center. But I think Michael when I'd like to ask first it is. When you see companies who want to come here what information do you give them about what it cost to live here. Great I think and agreed to appear quite that I want to thank you sir -- -- and -- the year. On the national insurance issue recently. With a lost it and speaking directly to approach on one to figure in the bank and so thank you all that the the information. It demand it's you look at the -- region. Overall we are expected and many many other major markets individuals split and obviously places like new York and -- just so much and expensive then. All that's expensive than Baltimore and Dallas the Charleston at the Denver even Detroit even Austin. So we show them that while we are slightly. Outward overall in the Demeter that your worker occur for individual -- And we have been talking earlier about. In it if for average on many levels. Have our salaries. Not maintained to handle those that that have had increases. Whether it being and housing or insurance or or whatever. Well yeah. Our -- from patient -- actually in terms of GDP growth which is a mature individual well. Backs are leading the nation. In overall growth and other. -- couple weeks ago is that. For now number six in the nation. For middle class job creation. Over the past few years so it looks like we've done a fairly good job. Of creating the type of jobs and enough jobs so people need rising costs. The middle class could you repeat that the middle class job creation. Yeah absolutely we are ranked -- number six for creating middle class jobs to 2008. In the nation we act about a slight increase and it was. One point 7% in the number. Of middle class jobs whereas actually unfortunately the vast majority of the nation has declined decreased in their number middle class shops for Portugal elector actually. And and could you give me some examples of those jobs. I want to -- on the spot but I'm really curious. Michael -- Michael -- Maybe he'll give us a call that it was brought it okay hopefully. Yeah I think I think it probably had a lot to what's kept on local economy went to biomedical district that's that's coming on line all the construction projects that are coming on on the federal money to state money coming into rebuild post-Katrina and perhaps those would be considered those middle class John. Yeah I think that Michael. You know I don't know what you know ranking. That's the -- different rankings -- out there you know it's about connection with. You know who do in the rankings what purpose it would mean that would dated using it. You're assuming that that -- that the correct ranking and I don't have any doubt that is. Baseball whatever they used to do the rankings around the country. Yeah I mean it's pretty clear that you know when you look get post-Katrina you know what you know what happened here we had. A huge won't go. To transfer payment. From the federal government into that the world region to rebuild the economy closed. 78 billion dollars has been working its way through. The region. And a lot of that focus you know in -- Orleans proper. To rebuild. Holding -- rebuilt infrastructure. Obviously is that McDonnell said to rebuild the the pumps pumping system and the the Levy protection and everything else so that you know massive investment that is employed thousands of people gators buried. Actually like to dovetail on -- that got an email yesterday from my colleague in Connecticut. Published story yesterday I guess which yesterday's in the -- New York Times. Newspaper article on opening I'd be -- drawn on. Magazine street and it really support warming to read. The recovery of the world and as outlined in that story. Tom Fitzmorris was quote from your station was quoted extensively pointing out the he increased no moral right strong ties wanna -- my recollection is 33% more than before Katrina. Evidently the robust economy and and higher income level that the young people coming to our. Our area and getting employment here -- be brought to our economy so it really was very -- -- positive. We wanna hear encouraging and positive. Michael I figure joining us again. Yeah I -- -- our unparalleled telecommunications. Structure and president. I was hoping you'll gonna bring us out of a eras I need. I'm sorry could you pick up were reeling off. Was saying that that basically old law in terms of cost were very good not only. Because. We have we have been like low cost electricity it will cost. Out of gas. But also seen that we being created jobs are largely in part the -- would be massive infusion of dollars after Katrina that were creating. The diversity of types of jobs that we eat and so on the -- -- -- trans demographically there are encouraging. Up people are going back to the statement sent by extreme years of net in migration people who are coming are better educated. We've been integrating capital country young people under point five with polish priest -- -- reverse. For 30% in -- -- structured Hispanic population. And again you know we're actually meeting in personal GDP growth what Bloomberg -- just. A number two in China and America accommodation of a population. And GDP growth so. Michael you just you make us feel good everything you're saying makes us feel good. -- Please stay with us everyone we're gonna continue but we're gonna go. To the newsroom with -- -- I'm so appreciative of the experts we have sitting in this room and also those on the phone and I hope you'll stay with this because we want some final thoughts from all of you. But we're now joined by Chris Claus who just happens to be the general manager of very special radio station. Invited not because of his position but more becomes. He moved here in 2008 sort of represents the new wave of people of command. And interestingly had lived in many different larger cities so can kind of give us a perspective. Of what he sees living in New Orleans and it's. -- to play well first -- I understand clearly it's not an expensive housing market as compared to the West Coast all of -- on the West Coast northeast in Tuesday's Boston Washington new York and -- I've lived in. Several places in LA San Diego and Philadelphia and west Westport Connecticut is all expensive markets. But the thing was most dramatic for me I've I've bought a nice home count. And I paid but I thought was reasonable for it but when you get that first homeowner's insurance bill. From campaign by comparing it to any other places -- ever lived in Philadelphia most recently. A -- 2700 dollars a year for homeowners insurance and my rate up until this year has risen to thirteen 1500 dollars. Until recently a new product team on the market so that was competitor to to Chubb. Hate to be sick child in that regard but that but you better came along so now my homeowner's insurance is only up four times. As much as it was in Philadelphia so that's a dramatic chart the 101000 dollars a year every year. That it pay so if I bought a house for significantly less money here than -- and other markets I'm not pain don't. Didn't -- 101000 dollar payment every year. That's a dramatic cost it releases and you already discussed auto insurance rates where more than doubled from Pennsylvania most recently. So that's tough and then it comes to his sales tax. And in Philadelphia for example or Pennsylvania charge 7% we charged -- half approximately in this in this particulars that region and so if you via. 20000 dollar car 40000 or whatever that's a big big not so there are some expensive things in this community. Overall however it does come out. Properly because there some advantage of being here. So I irony complaints is just it's different in that at 101000 dollar annual -- -- -- And mr. O'Donnell on which got a. I would and I really appreciate that any Goebel bit of perspective and it's in my opinion spot ball in and I hear it all the time. -- and probably until they expect the response but probably that. Competition that he'd move to his pure insurance company that came in to compete with child. And AIG. In the -- in farm and followed in the high upscale high dollar premium marketplace. And and he evidences that competition in the -- activist my whole that I built now -- Metairie in 1975. Is insured for adventurer replacement value for 60000 dollars today. With a company that I'm now -- the company I was with before. Three years ago -- Insured for almost identical 480000. As compared with 220. Thousand that they -- -- for. When Katrina hit in 2000 -- but when I changed companies from that. Major national company that is cut their their book of business in. But since Katrina to one of the new companies that -- Got my agent to shop around and placed it. My premium went from a thousand mark to 400. It has -- in the three years gone up to 600 a month. But I saved for two years I'd say. 7000 dollars a year in obstacles -- 5000 miles a year by virtue of shopping and comparing that coverage. -- some companies offer multi court discounts like insurance discounts. In it and you may choose to be with that destroyed that company for those discounts said that that they use. That court available to a new resident movie in our area the bottom -- -- -- that is there's really money to be shaped by shopping insurance -- But we're gonna take a very quick break but I want to stay with this I want everybody put their heads together and figure out how we get our car insurance rates -- How -- we and the soft tissue issues. We'll be right back this is Angela on WW well. So what does Acosta live in new -- to cost a lot but you know something it's worth it because we love it and I think we need to say that over and over again. I believe we we lost Eric. We didn't sorry Eric Green on. Not Erica is gone. Jack from -- -- Question for mr. And I promised not to tell anybody. Here it is giving. What insurance company. I I don't do that and the reason I don't is -- I'm regulate the insurance companies don't want to. Promote one over the other I don't. I I did it once and then regretted it couple years ago right after upgrade to change and it was. Trumpeted in the -- -- Q and on the on the business stage Andrei headline Dublin dumps in sure -- And that god as a and he's he's my -- on the street neighbor bit agent for decades but again I'm not. And and it's not necessary. -- -- a bit agitated pure it was the company is sure that -- -- I. They say aren't they are the competition that train into our market here about two years ago. In the as a wasted in that higher dollar market -- about market itself. But -- -- company for about forty years just. Well and the opera mobile shop around. Okay. Let this go back to Carol Williams and I wanted to ask Chris. Laws. You didn't mention about on your bench not -- to chart your taxes your hometown just compared to other places you've lived how would you put them. Well I knew it was getting into because the way the system works now my home wasn't re re appraised at any point time simply that. Property tax based on sales price back -- -- And so I knew I was getting into it was a high number and I don't like it it's not comfortable. It happens to be about the same amount of money it paid in Philadelphia for a home on two acres in three stories -- some thousand square feet. Which is big house and that'll happen here and a third that size -- it's beautiful house tonight campaign -- paying high tax. And I don't dispute reappraisal and Simpson's insists that currently among way higher than most of my neighbors in the much bigger nicer homes. It's just I knew is that the my money was gonna pay to come here live on in the location I chose so I don't object to it. You know -- I guess going back to I think the city need to money I think we need for many reasons and I've always looked at paying property tax if you gotta do it. And if you wanna be a citizen. I just have a sense that there are not enough people paying taxes and I don't know how mr. Williams we can get through about that. But I think that needs to be addressed is I think on. Certain non profits should be plant paying some sort of feet not saying attacks because there's an awful lot of property that is just laying there and knocked -- Not contribute. And your thoughts on that. Well basically you know -- -- the processes that -- and bring about uniform and fair assessment delivered four years. The assessment has to -- -- and rebuilt each respective -- better and nonprofits. There are approximately and did dot com and 400. Million homes exemption to about two billion Novo nonprofit. Profited -- -- just it's. Constitution exempt such as. States federal nonprofit organizations that. -- where the biggest month broke through this as for has developed and more when you look now Serbia that it project recently there was. Just basically of the fifty top pride and excellence since the storm. Who built and built these buildings. And most most of them came from nonprofit organizations so we have a lot of the -- over. Economic development coming from some of their efforts and some of them from private enterprises were treated as a test results. And there's a lot of stagnant nonprofits that have bought a lot of properties that are now just nothing but blighted. And they just sitting there. Well someone has called body big -- they would or would the expectations that. -- be community development block grant money given to them to renovate these profits and that just that has not happened so we're still a large number of properties that have not been renovated at a rehab since the it didn't turn over the non profits that they -- have been trying to. Particular property back. Stay with this we're gonna continue this conversation I'm in July under the have you well I wanna thank a doctor don't blame Ivan. Mice to -- Arthur -- Turco Jim O'Donnell and Michael Hecht -- -- shall never know how much I appreciate you all participating in this Chris closure of Rachel and I. Thank you very very much we have about three minutes and I'd like each of you to sort of give me just a 32. Overall thought. On our cost of living in Roland stuff well. Begin health care economics has might carry so. I will simply say that for the first time we're beginning to see some positive news. The health care cost will continue to be rising there's things going on private sector the government sector to actually try to get some control on health care cost so that. That's completely unsustainable as it is but I would say I'm a little more optimistic that it in the future things will get worse at least that's goodness. And -- if you're looking for housing you know make -- you chart to your insurance agent before you put in an offer. Make sure you know what the cost is going to be and what a probable long term costs are going to be and above all. Keep your housing expenses 30% or less of your pretax income. That is the message. -- Yeah and I think on the as you know I think it is it is difficult is this promises. The deal with rising prices and and increasing -- One of the things that does do it -- to fuel continued neighborhood recovery. Because what's happening is is pushing into other neighborhoods -- marginal. And so people were priced one area now move into others. Seeking opportunities meaning particularly those -- buying property and renovating -- put him on the markets so that gradually increase in prices and rants. Will help neighborhoods like in Chile which up to this point have vote has legs. -- OK and -- You know. Keep the keep in mind that many positive things going on in the world what we haven't talked about is the cost of educating your children. Our public school system was cited by John McCain when he was running for president. Six years ago the -- simply were exemplary reforms system. In America and now -- charter schools are competing with some very -- private schools. For students in and saving those parents a lot of money in the process on the insurance front. Auto is our biggest challenge in the metropolitan -- -- no question about it. But the final thing that I would say is auto homeowners shop and you can save money. Carol Williams. What typical people will -- -- time and effort to nonprofit lows for profits. And opened a -- -- -- thanks -- their efforts we begin to see more of our properties coming on to the rules and hopefully with more and more general rule actually in the future. The reduction in the text -- rate which should. -- make it a little more attractive than medal as you look at those comparatively. Speaking would be delayed as abuses in Memphis. We're still low about 500 Dole's list per thousand. Impact has been what -- -- in most places. And Michael have you just keep bringing people. Became trying to have potential part of the reason is that intuit ranked just. A top five most affordable city councils in the country and keep injury caused the second most -- -- expert bird in the US. Corporate headquarters overall I'm saying is that. Right now these -- -- across the country -- they're -- -- -- get more from here come across America and that's our drivers. And on that happy note I thank each and every one of you thank you Chris -- well and stay tuned because we're going to be talking to in the next hour people from -- -- Now let's go to the newsroom with John names.