Louisiana local governments are expected to see a $714 million decline in revenues for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years combined due to the coronavirus pandemic and Hurricane Laura.
Legislative Auditor economist Ed Seyler said local governments are heavily dependent on sales taxes which have seen major reductions due to mandatory business closures and mass layoffs.
For the 2021 fiscal year, the expected total revenue loss sits just under six percent for local governments statewide. An optimistic projection estimates a loss of only $523 million during those years, while a more pessimistic projection pegs it at $860 million.
Hurricane-ravaged Cameron and Calcasieu are expected to see a 17 and 10 percent drop in 2021 revenue respectively. Seyler said there’s a chance though that storm repair could soften the blow.
“It can result in new appliances being purchased, new construction materials, and a whole host of economic activity, not to mention construction jobs,” said Seyler
Other parishes seeing the largest declines in fiscal year 2021 are Orleans at 13 percent, Jefferson and Natchitoches at eight percent, and St. John, St. Tammany, and Beauregard at six percent.