A RECENT REPORT BY THE Better Together Campaign discovered that the proposed city of St. George would have a large economic impact on East Baton Rouge’s City- Parish budget.
The Better Together Campaign is a grassroots effort of citizens who believe the best way to solve our problems is not by separating.
The report found that if incorporated, the city would have twice the population of Baker, Zachary and Central
combined and greatly impact the parish’s city- parish budget.
If incorporated, sales tax revenue would be diverted from the East Baton Rouge – City Parish to St. George. The tax would come from places such as Perkins Rowe, L’Auberge Casino and the Siegen Lane Market Place.
The East Baton Rouge- City Parish budget is an estimated $282 million and the incorporation of St. George could take away $85 million from the city-parish budget. The s incorporation of the proposed city would create a 20% deficit for EBR. The city of Detroit suffered a 12.5% deficit before it went bankrupt.
Proponents for St. George claim the deficit would only be $14 million annually instead of $53 million.
The only way to close the gap would be tax increases and service. According to the research, a large bulk of the service cuts would be made to police and fire departments.
The Better Together Campaign began with residents who live in the proposed breakaway area of southeast Baton Rouge, but now includes residents across the city-parish, who are opposed to the proposal to incorporate the southeast part of our city- parish as a separate city.
By Cameron James
The Drum City News Manager