FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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BRAC and BRAF Release Report on Impacts of Proposed New Municipality in East Baton Rouge Parish
Baton Rouge, La. (December 1, 2013)
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) today released a jointly commissioned report outlining potential impacts of a new, separate municipality proposed to be incorporated in the southern part of East Baton Rouge Parish. LSU economists led by Dr. Jim Richardson researched potential financial impacts to the parish with the goal of helping residents understand the context and potential outcomes of what they are being asked to suppor
t through the petition and voting process. As the report states, “In
practice, the workability of this division of the parish into two major municipalities, Baton Rouge and the proposed municipality, must be carefully examined since there are major differences
between the regions but an undeniable economic interdependency.”
Research compiled for the report indicates that incorporation of the new municipality, proposed as a means to create a separate school district from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS), would have significant consequences on the City of Baton Rouge, the existing public school system, and residents of the entire parish, including those in the proposed municipality. Among the major findings in the report, creating the new municipality would:
Take $85 million, or 30 percent, from the East Baton Rouge Parish General Fund. This is mainly because the General Fund is significantly supported by sales taxes, which are produced where retail outlets are located even though the sales taxes are paid by people who shop from all across the parish. The Mall of Louisiana, for instance, is a regional shopping destination that would be located in the proposed municipality.
Create risk for increased taxes to make up for lost revenues.
Lead to significant reductions in public services, particularly police protection, which accounts for 29 percent of General Fund expenditures.
Destabilize and jeopardize the unified plan of government from unsustainable retirement and post-employment benefit costs unless the new city shares in legacy costs. Totaling about $110 million a year, current retirement expenses and benefits are an obligation of all taxpayers in the parish. -more-