Director of Finance
The head of the Department of Finance shall be the Director of Finance. He shall be a person skilled in local government accounting, budgeting and financial control, and shall further have graduated from an accredited four-year college or university with a major course in accounting or public administration, and have six years progressively responsible accounting experience. It shall be his duty to: (As amended October 20, 2007)
(a) Compile for the Mayor-President the estimates for the current expense and capital budgets.
(b) Maintain accounting systems for the Parish, the City, and districts of which the Metropolitan Council is the governing body, hereafter in this Chapter referred to as Districts, and for each department, office and agency thereof, in accordance with the best recognized practices in governmental accounting; keep records for and exercise financial and budgetary control over each such department, office, or agency; keep separate accounts for the items of appropriation contained in the budget ordinance, and encumber such items of appropriation with the amount of each purchase order, payroll or contract, approved by him for sufficiency of funds, immediately upon such approval; and keep such records as shall show at all times for each account the amount of the appropriation, the amounts paid therefrom, the amount of unpaid encumbrances, and the unencumbered balance. (As amended October 20, 2007)
(c) Prescribe the form of receipts, vouchers, bills or claims to be used, and the accounts to be kept, by all departments, offices and agencies of the Parish, the City, and Districts, and provide suitable instructions for the use thereof.
(d) Prescribe the times at and the manner in which moneys received by any department, office or agency for the Parish, City, or any District, shall be paid to the Parish and City Treasurer or deposited in a bank account under his control to the credit of the Parish, City, or District, as the case may be.
(e) Examine all contracts, purchase orders and other documents which involve financial obligations against the Parish, the City, or any District, and approve the same only upon ascertaining that moneys have been appropriated, and that an unexpended and unencumbered balance is available in such appropriation to meet the same. (As amended October 20, 2007)
(f) Review before payment all bills, invoices, payrolls, and other claims, demands, or charges against the Parish, the City, or any District, and approve the same only if proper, legal and correct. (As amended October 20, 2007)
(g) Inspect and audit the accounts and records of financial transactions maintained in each department, office and agency of the Parish, the City and Districts.
(h) Prepare at the request of the Mayor-President, interim financial statements and reports of the financial transactions of the Parish, the City and Districts. (As amended October 20, 2007)
(i) Prepare for the Mayor-President each year, a complete financial statement and report of the financial transactions for the preceding year, of the Parish, the City, and Districts. (As amended October 20, 2007))
(j) Appoint and remove subject to the provisions of Chapter 9 of this Plan of Government, all employees of the Department of Finance.
(k) Designate, with the approval of the Mayor-President, an employee of the Department of Finance, as Deputy Director of the Department of Finance, who may have and perform all the powers and duties herein conferred or imposed on the Director of Finance. (As amended November 3, 1964.)
Parish and City Treasurer
There shall be a Parish and City Treasurer who shall be appointed by the Metropolitan Council for an indefinite term and which office, in the discretion of the Metropolitan Council, may be combined with that of Council Administrator. The Parish and City Treasurer shall have graduated from an accredited four-year college or university, with courses in accounting, or have at least five years of responsible work in the field of public administration, governmental accounting, or general accounting supervision. He shall have custody of all funds belonging to the Parish, the City, and Districts, and shall deposit the same in such banks as may be designated by the Metropolitan Council, on such conditions as are provided by law for the deposit of public money. He shall also be the treasurer of all special and trust funds, with power to invest the same under such conditions as may be prescribed by ordinance by the Council, except where otherwise provided by law or by the terms of the trust. He shall have such other powers and duties, not inconsistent with this Plan of Government, as are conferred or imposed on Parish Treasurers by law, and shall appoint and remove, subject to the provisions of Chapter 9 of this Plan of Government, all employees of his office. (As amended November 3, 1964.)
No disbursements shall be made from the funds of the Parish, the City, or any District except by an instrument authorized by the Treasurer, based upon a voucher or payroll duly reviewed and approved by the Director of Finance. The Metropolitan Council may by ordinance authorize the Treasurer to use a check signing machine or other similar device for affixing the facsimile signature of the Treasurer to checks and other negotiable instruments drawn on the various accounts subject to his control and custody. The Council shall provide in such ordinance such safeguards as may be necessary for the proper protection of the public assets. (As amended on November 6, 1965.) (As amended October 20, 2007)
The Mayor-President, the Director of Finance, the Parish and City Treasurer, and all other officers and employees concerned in the handling of money, shall be covered by such surety company bonds, conditioned upon the faithful performance of their duties, as are prescribed by law, or shall be required by ordinance of the Metropolitan Council and shall be paid from appropriations made by the Metropolitan Council. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Collection of Taxes
All taxes levied and all other licenses, fees, and other charges imposed by the Metropolitan Council as the governing body of the Parish, the City, or of any district shall be collected as directed by the Director of Finance except as provided by State law. The Council may by resolution enter into an agreement with the Sheriff for the collection by the Sheriff of taxes levied in the City. Otherwise they shall be collected by the Director of Finance and the actual cost of such collection shall be paid from an appropriation thereof made by the Council. (As amended October 20, 2007)
The fiscal year of the Parish, the City, and Districts shall commence on the first day of January in each year and end on the last day of the succeeding December.
The head of every department, office or agency receiving financial support from the Metropolitan Council shall file with the Director of Finance, at such time in each year as the Mayor-President may require estimates of revenues to be received by that department, office or agency for or on account of the Parish, City, or any District, and of the expenditures of that department, office or agency for the ensuing year. Such estimates shall be submitted upon forms prescribed by the Director of Finance and shall contain all information which the Mayor-President shall require. The Mayor-President, with the assistance of the Director of Finance, shall review these estimates and revise them as he may deem advisable. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Submission of the Budgets
Not later than the fifth day of November in each year the Mayor-President shall submit to the Metropolitan Council a current expense budget and a capital budget for the Parish, the City and for each District of which such Council is the governing body. The capital budget for the Parish, the City or the Districts shall provide for those capital projects or capital outlays which will be financed from revenues for the ensuing fiscal year and available surpluses from prior years. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Scope of Current Expense Budgets
Each current expense budget shall contain in respect of the unit of local government to which it is applicable: (a) an estimate of all revenues anticipated; (b) an estimate of the surplus or deficit from the current fiscal year; (c) debt service requirements for the ensuing fiscal year; (d) all other estimated expenditures for the ensuing fiscal year to be met from current revenues; and provided further, that in no event shall the total estimated expenditures exceed total anticipated revenues combined with the estimated surplus or deficit at the end of the current fiscal year. Revenues shall be shown by sources and expenditures by organization units and activities, and the budgets shall be so arranged as to show comparative figures for revenues and expenditures for prior years, for the current year, and the Mayor- President's recommendations for the ensuing year. The current expense budgets shall be accompanied by such supplementary schedules supporting the estimates of revenues and expenditures as the Mayor-President may supply or the Metropolitan Council may request. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Allocations of Parish Revenues to Municipalities
The Metropolitan Council shall allocate Parish revenues annually to the four municipalities of the Parish, specifically the City of Baton Rouge, the City of Baker, the City of Zachary, and the City of Central, by including in the current expense budget for the Parish items of appropriation to these municipalities. The total of such allocations shall not be less, in any one fiscal year, than the equivalent of three mms on the taxable valuation or the industrial areas.
All allocations of Parish revenues made under authority of this Section shall be appropriated and distributed to the municipalities of the Parish in the proportion that the population of each said municipality, based upon the last federal census, bears to the total population of the four municipalities in the Parish. All amounts so appropriated to the municipalities by the Council shall be treated as anticipated revenue in the current expense budgets of the respective municipalities. Adjustments or allocations based upon changes in population as determined by the latest federal census shall be effective on the first day of January after the promulgation of each succeeding census. (As amended November 21, 2015)
Each capital budget shall present a program of capital expenditures for the unit of local government concerned, and the method of financing them and shall include in the appropriate current expense budget any projects to be financed from revenues for the ensuing fiscal year and available surpluses at the end of the current fiscal year. The Council shall have power to accept, with or without amendment, or reject, the proposed program and proposed means of financing, but such Council shall not authorize any expenditure for the construction of any building, structure, work or improvement, unless the appropriation for such project is included in its capital budget or amendments thereto except to meet a public emergency threatening the lives, health or property of the inhabitants, when passed by seven votes of the Council. Capital budgets may be approved or amended by the Metropolitan Council at any time during the year. (As amended October 20, 2007)
The Mayor-President shall submit, together with the current expense and capital budgets, a budget message containing his recommendations concerning the fiscal policy of the Parish, the City, and Districts, a description of the important features of the budgets, and an explanation of all major increases or decreases in budget recommendations as compared with expenditures for prior years. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Budgets Public Records
All the budgets and supplementary schedules submitted by the Mayor-President shall be public records and shall be open to inspection in the office of the Council Administrator during regular business hours. The budget message and summaries of the current expense and capital budgets shall be published in the official journal of the Parish not later than the sixth day following their submission, together with notice of public hearings therein to be held not later than the fourteenth day following such publication. (As amended November 8, 1966.) (As amended October 20, 2007)
The public hearing on each budget shall be conducted separately by the Council but all such hearings, may be announced for the same time and place. The hearings, or any of them, may be adjourned from time to time.
Action by the Metropolitan Council on Current Expense Budgets
After the conclusion of such public hearings the Metropolitan Council may amend the current expense budgets by inserting new items of expenditure, or increasing, decreasing or striking out items of expenditure, except that no item of appropriation for debt service shall be reduced below the amount certified by the Director of Finance as necessary therefor. The Council shall not alter the Mayor-President's estimate of revenues except to correct errors and omissions in which event a full explanation shall be provided in the minutes of the Council, but the Council may decrease the amount of anticipated revenues for the ensuing fiscal year as proposed in its current expense budgets by the Mayor-President in proportion to such decrease as it may make in the total expenditures proposed by the Mayor-President. In no event shall the Council cause the total proposed expenditures to exceed total anticipated revenues combined with estimated surplus or deficit at the end of the current fiscal year. Not later than the fifteenth day of December and not earlier than the thirty-first day following its publication the Council shall adopt the current expense budgets. If the Council shall fail to adopt the current expense budgets by the fifteenth day of December, it shall be presumed to have adopted the budgets submitted by the Mayor-President. On and after the first day of January the current expense budgets as adopted shall be in effect for the fiscal year beginning on that day. A copy of each of such budgets, certified by the Council Administrator, shall be filed in the office of the Director of Finance. The totals in each current expense budget for each organization unit and activity shall constitute appropriations for their respective purposes, and no expenditure shall be made except in accordance therewith. Summaries of the current expense budgets as finally adopted shall be published once in the official journal of the Parish. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Work Programs and Allotments
After the current expense budgets have been adopted and before the beginning of the fiscal year to which they are applicable the head of each department, office or agency to which any appropriation is made thereby, shall submit to the Mayor-President, in such form as he shall prescribe a work program. The Mayor-President may implement a quarterly or monthly appropriation allotment system so as to control cash resources as necessary. If the Mayor-President shall at any time ascertain that there will not be for the Parish, the City, or its Districts, sufficient funds to meet total appropriations, it shall be his duty to revise appropriations so as to forestall the incurring of a deficit. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Transfers of Appropriations
The Mayor-President may at any time authorize the transfer of any unencumbered balance of an appropriation, or portion thereof, to supplement another appropriation made in the same budget to the same department, office or agency. At the request of the Mayor-President, the Metropolitan Council may by resolution transfer any unencumbered balance of an appropriation made by it, or portion thereof, to supplement an appropriation made in the same budget to another department, office or agency. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Appropriations in addition to those contained in any current expense budget shall be made only on the recommendation of the Mayor-President and only if the Director of Finance certifies that sufficient funds are available in accordance with the best recognized practices in governmental accounting to meet such appropriation. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Lapse of Appropriations
Any portion of a current expense appropriation remaining unexpended and unencumbered at the close of the fiscal year shall lapse. Capital budget appropriations shall not lapse until the purpose for which the appropriation was made shall have been accomplished or abandoned; provided that any project shall be deemed to have been abandoned if three fiscal years pass without any expenditure from or encumbrance of the appropriation therefore.
Certification of Funds, Penalties for Violation
No payment shall be made and no obligation incurred against any appropriation unless the Director of Finance shall first certify that there is a sufficient unexpended and unencumbered balance in such appropriation to meet the same. Every expenditure or obligation authorized or incurred in violation of the provisions of this Chapter shall be void. Every payment made in violation of the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed illegal, and every official who shall knowingly authorize or make such payment of take part therein, and every person who shall knowingly receive such payment or any part thereof, shall be jointly and severally liable to the Parish, the City, or District concerned, for the full amount so paid or received. If any officer or employee of the Parish, the City, or any District, shall knowingly incur any obligation or shall authorize or make any expenditure in violation of the provisions of the Chapter or knowingly take part therein, such action shall be cause for his removal. (As amended October 20, 2007)
The Metropolitan Council shall provide for an annual audit of the accounts of the Parish, the City, and Districts of which the Metropolitan Council is the governing body and for each department, agency, or office thereof, by a firm of certified public accountants. (As amended October 20, 2007)
Expense of Financial Administration
The compensation of the Director of Finance and the Parish and City Treasurer and the number and compensation of the employees in their respective offices shall be fixed by the Metropolitan Council. The cost of financial administration, as provided in this Chapter, including the annual audit, shall be provided by appropriations made by the Metropolitan Council. (As amended October 20, 2007)
New Sales Taxes
Except where authorized by a majority of those voting in an election called for that purpose and open to all electors, the Metropolitan Council shall not levy any new Sales Taxes. (As amended October 27, 1979)
Bond or Tax Elections
The Metropolitan Council shall only be authorized to call and thereafter hold a bond or tax election: (i) on a date on which the Louisiana Election Code (Title 18 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, as amended from time to time) (the “Louisiana Election Code”) authorizes the holding of (a) both a bond or tax election and a gubernatorial election, or (b) both a bond or tax election and a Congressional election; (ii) in a year in which the Louisiana Election Code does not provide for the holding of either a gubernatorial election or a congressional election, on a date in September, October or November in any such calendar year, which specific date shall be in accordance with the dates for bond, tax or other elections as set forth in the Louisiana Election Code; or (iii) after the Metropolitan Council has determined that an emergency exists and has approved the calling of the election by a vote of a majority of the members of the Metropolitan Council, which election shall be held on a date in accordance with the schedule of dates for bond, tax or other elections as set forth in the Louisiana Election Code. This amendment shall be effective January 1, 2000. (As amended November 3, 1998)