State Government's Role
State government has long had a dominant role in the activities of cities and parishes. The state legislature prescribes for local governments certain basic procedures which they must employ in carrying out their responsibilities, such as public bidding on purchases and building contracts, civil service systems for larger cities, etc. The state also provides some financial assistance to local governments. Some of these comes in the form of state supplemental pay to city policemen and firemen and to sheriff's deputies in the parish.
For many years, the state has shared the revenue it collects on sales of tobacco products with municipalities. The parish receives revenues from stated-collected beer tax, chain store tax, insurance company tax and from the State Road Fund.
Beginning in 1972 the state instituted what the legislature called "revenue sharing" with cities and parishes. These payments replaced property taxes previously paid to local governments and did not result in a significant increase in revenues to the City-Parish. The City-Parish form of government in East Baton Rouge was the first consolidation of a county and city government in the United States. Since its implementation on January 1, 1949, it has attracted national attention and other cities have used this system as a model for enhancing the efficiency of their local governments. The people of East Baton Rouge Parish are extremely proud of the efficient, consolidated government which has permitted progressive growth of East Baton Rouge into a leading center of industry, business, education and culture.