Trees

With trees in homes, many in Lake Charles living in questionable conditions a month after Hurricane Laura

“Carefully. Praying we don’t fall through the floor in the bathroom,” Veronica Thomas said.

LAKE CHARLES, La. — It’s been more than a month since Hurricane Laura made landfall in Southwest Louisiana. Many have moved back to homes in pieces as they work to rebuild. 

“It’s actually in the roof,” said Lake Charles resident Veronica Thomas about the tree in her home. “So it’s a big gaping hole, a turbine fell out the house, big gaping hole there. My bedroom was flooded, my bathroom was flooded, the living room was flooded, kitchen was flooded.”

She’s still living there now. 

“Carefully. Praying we don’t fall through the floor in the bathroom,” she said.

Even as she waits to hear from insurance, she’s relieved to see workers taking the tree off her roof one month after the storm. 

“Right now it’s coming out of my pocket, which is not a lot,” she said about the expenses for the work. 

Trees also fell through Doris Lee’s home.   

“Puncturing my house, we have leaks everywhere. I’m not the only one, but it was startling to see something like that,” Lee said. 

The smell of mold fills one of her bedrooms, but she and her family are still living there. 

“We just had to give up two bedrooms and we gave up the front part of the house so we’re fine,” Lee said. 

They’re cleaning up and see progress everyday, while living in these tree filled homes

While some homes are still unlivable, many people have returned home. Now 99 percent of Lake Charles has power restored and drinkable water. They’ve seen progress over the last month, but there is clearly a long way to go. 

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California Farm Bureau Fears Improvements Like Barns, and Even Trees, Will Be Taxed Under Prop. 15

The most contentious issue California voters face on Nov. 3 is not the Presidential election—polls show voters are firmly decided. Rather, it is a tax measure, Proposition 15, which has heavy hitters for it and against it.

Proposition 15 would amend the California constitution to change the way commercial and industrial real estate is taxed, basing it on current market value. Presently, all property, residential and commercial, is taxed based on its last purchase price.

The measure, sometimes called the “split-roll initiative,” excludes commercial agricultural land and commercial properties worth less than $3 million from being reassessed at current market value. The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s office estimates that Proposition 15 could bring between $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion per year when it is fully implemented in 2025.

Sixty percent of the revenues from Proposition 15 (after it pays the state and local tax assessors for the costs of implementing the measure) would go to cities, counties and special districts, 40 percent to schools and community colleges. The total for each would depend on the amount of new taxes paid by commercial properties in each community.

Supporters include the Democratic Party; Green Party; Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, (who are ahead of President Trump by about 30 points in the California polls); Gov. Gavin Newsom; the California Teachers Association (a major donor) and most labor unions. 

Opponents include the California Farm Bureau Federation; the California Republican Party; the California Chamber of Commerce (also the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Black Chamber of Commerce, American Indian Chamber of Commerce and Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce); the California Small Business Association; the California State Conference of the NAACP and several veterans’ organizations.

Lenny Goldberg, long-time executive director of the California Tax Reform Association and Proposition 15’s main architect,

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