BATON ROUGE, LA — June 11, 2018 — City of St. George organizers presented new, inaccurate findings regarding the city-parish’s finances during today’s Baton Rouge Press Club meeting. To correct the misinformation that was shared, my administration offers the following in response to claims made by organizers during their presentation:
- Organizers failed to acknowledge changes the city-parish made to its pension system for regular, municipal, and fire employees hired after 2015. While we cannot undo the past, we have made significant changes to retirement benefits to achieve massive savings moving forward.
- Organizers also took the Library Board to task on how it spends its dedicated tax revenue. They also failed to note that a majority of residents in the proposed city voted to support the library system’s 2015 tax renewal.
While organizers pontificate on the city-parish’s finances, they have avoided discussing the fact that the city-parish maintains the market’s highest bond ratings (AA or AAA), signaling a healthy and financially sound governance model.
Organizers continue to attack the city-parish by using misinformation rather than outlining how they would adequately finance a new city and create a school district without raising taxes. We have proven that their income forecast estimate is off by $13 million. The proposed city’s expense budget only offers poorly-backed estimates.
The city-parish is in the process of collecting additional data points in order to clearly outline the ramifications of a breakaway on the pockets of residents in the proposed area.
As Mayor-President, I believe it’s important that residents inside and outside of the proposed area have factual and reliable information.