Joel Robideaux, mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana, has hit on a novel way to solve his city’s funding woes.
According to a presentation given last month, property taxes are “inadequate to fund long term basic parish government operations.” On the table are the usual options of cutting public spending and raising taxes, but now a different avenue has also been made available: an ICO to create the city’s own cryptocurrency.
Whilst Berkley positions itself as the “center of the resistance” to President Trump, and one which needs a coin for that resistance to be effective – an arguable point – Robideaux is more of a prudent book-balancer type.
“It’s not just a bunch of global libertarians that want unregulated, untraceable and secure digital currency transactions,” he said, adding that “the world of healthcare, government and possibly every other industry is about to be disrupted” by blockchain technology.
Robideaux plans to use the currency to reposition the city as a hub for technology, particularly crypto tech, to diversify the local economy.
They will “build a living lab of blockchain researchers and developers,” he said, hoping that the increase in local blockchain expertise will enable the city to “develop solutions targeting government inefficiencies, and, more importantly, alternatives for financing public infrastructure.”
Or at least that’s the plan. The Acadia Advocate notes that the scheme is notably short on details and quite how these promises will be implemented remains unclear. The Berkley model suggests using municipal bonds to back the ICO, though so far Robideaux has not suggested this. There is also no word on what, if any, benefits would accrue to token-holders.