By Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence
The American Rescue Plan – the COVID relief package that was recently passed into law – not only provided financial assistance to individuals and businesses, but also to state and local governments due to anticipated lower tax collections. Recently, the state of Louisiana released a projection of how the $1.8 billion in relief designated for Louisiana local governments would be split among parishes, cities, towns and villages. The table below is a breakdown of all areas receiving funds in the Capital Region, organized by parish.
When aggregated, the data shows that the Baton Rouge metro area will receive nearly $300 million in funds between the nine parishes and their cities. These funds represent significant increases in revenue for most of these entities – for example, the $167 million designated for the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge is more than 15% of its projected 2021 budget. More than $27 million is earmarked for Ascension Parish, which represents 14% of its budget this year.
While some of this money will help plug deficits from lower tax revenues due to COVID, these dollars far exceed the lost revenues and increased costs associated with the pandemic. This windfall will give local governments in the Capital Region the opportunity to undertake several projects regarding infrastructure, education, and other areas of need.
As Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence, Andrew focuses on research and analysis for BRAC’s business development and economic competitiveness teams, providing economic, demographic, and fiscal research to support business expansion and relocation efforts in the Baton Rouge Area and analysis of education, workforce, tax, and other economic and public policy issues.