LSU professors present financial findings for proposed city of St. George ahead of early voting

LSU professors present financial findings for proposed city of St. George ahead of early voting

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - On Thursday, Sept. 26, East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, along with a number of representatives from local businesses, came out against the proposed City of St. George, saying the city is better together and unified.

One Baton Rouge hosted a forum Thursday night with two LSU professors, who discussed their analysis of the proposed city’s finances. Those professors are James Richardson and Jared Llorens. They came up with their study by looking over the parish’s taxes, and also looked at similar cities that have incorporated. The professors, in their opinion, say it’s still unknown if taxes will go up. But in regards to the parish, they say there will be a change in the tax revenues.

St. George’s proposed budget is $33.1 million, and the professors don’t see how that will cover all the costs in the proposed new city.

“I don’t think $33 million would be sufficient to run the city as they are suggesting. That’s why we think it will be much closer to the 50 or 60 million dollar range. Taxes will be about $48 million, they’ll [proposed city] have that for sure. We think that’s a pretty good number. On how much they need to spend to have a real city and do all the things they want to do, I think that’s the unknown,” said Jim Richardson, an economics professor at LSU.

A spokesperson with the St. George incorporation effort gave WAFB a comment: “Of course we aren’t going to operate in the same mismanaged, bloated government model that has EBR over-leveraged and underfunded. No wonder EBR continuously raises taxes. Our expenses will be less because we will not longer be subsidizing the rest of EBR Parish,” said Andrew Murrell.

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Early voting begins Saturday, Sept. 28.

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