QUESTION: Can you tell me if the thought of bringing the ferry boats back to the Port Allen or Brusly landing has ever been considered to help the daily traffic?

ANSWER: It’s a matter of the cost far outweighing any slight benefit, says Dustin Annison, a state Department of Transportation and Development spokesman.

“Adding a ferry at this location would have no significant impact on reducing traffic on the Interstate 10 Mississippi River Bridge,” Annison says.

“Our latest data show that an estimated 103,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day. On a best-case scenario, a ferry would be able to move between 1,000 and 2,000 vehicles per day; therefore, it will not have a major impact in reducing traffic crossing the bridge.

“In addition, adding a ferry at this location would be of high cost to taxpayers. Operational costs would be approximately $3 million per year. Twenty new employees would need to be hired. The department would need to identify a suitable location and secure land, which would have to be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Lastly, DOTD does not have a sufficient number of ferry boats to support additional locations. A new boat costs approximately $15 million.”

Homestead exemption oversight

QUESTION: Who enforces the constitutional ban (Article 7, Section 20) of a person having more that one homestead exemption for property taxes: the Attorney General, the Tax Commission, or the assessor’s office where one of the properties is located?

ANSWER: We contacted Louisiana Tax Commission administrator Charles Abels, who tells us: “The tax assessor should be the first agency to be notified of an issue regarding double homestead exemption in their perspective parish.

“Our agency has oversight responsibilities and will work with the assessor to ensure fair and equitable assessments.”

Talk to us

Send your questions to Ask The Advocate, 10705 Rieger Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0371; or email asktheadvocate@theadvocate.com.