Sales tax revenue down in East Baton Rouge Parish
Sales tax revenue for East Baton Rouge Parish dropped more than 22 percent in October compared to last year, according to figures released Friday. Mayor-President Kip Holden says city leaders anticipated the deficit, and he blamed it on what he called the "Hurricane Gustav effect."
Holden says in October 2008, thousands of homeowners were in the process of rebuilding after the storm, spending money they got from insurance and the federal government.
But people spent less this year. "The sharp decrease from last October wasn't unexpected and was actually built into our 2009 budget," Holden said. "As a result of conservative budgeting, we are able to absorb the drop in sales tax revenues without any negative impact on city-parish services."
Holden says no service cuts or layoffs are anticipated in the 2010 budget.
Despite the double-digit drop in October, sales tax revenues for the first ten months of 2009 are only down 4.64 percent compared to the same period last year.