Study shows St. George would run a deficit
BATON ROUGE - Two LSU professors said the proposed City of St. George would bring in less tax revenue and spend more money than its organizers claim. Economist Jim Richardson and Public Administration expert Jared Llorens presented their findings Monday at the Baton Rouge Press Club.
"In the initial year, do we show a deficit or a surplus? We show a deficit," said Richardson.
Organizers are currently collecting signatures to incorporate the southern part of East Baton Rouge Parish with a population of roughly 80,000.
The study found tax revenue collected would be about $12 million less and spending on city services would be about $17 million more than what organizers claim. The study compared other cities with similar populations and geographic sizes.
St. George spokesperson Andrew Murrell said the revenue estimates are close to their own. As for spending, he said the proposed city would run more efficiently than others.
"We're not going to be the old tax and spend government model where we have a bloated city-government workforce," said Murrell.
The non-profit One Baton Rouge paid for the study, a group supported by dozens of unnamed donors. Organizers for St. George hope to have incorporation on the ballot by next year.