Audit: Nearly $650M in Louisiana taxes misappropriated, uncollected in 2019

    Last year, some $642 million was either misused or not collected by Louisiana state and local agencies, according to a recently released report by the Legislative Auditor. 

    According to the annual report designed to notify lawmakers of ongoing trends ahead of the upcoming legislative session, there were three major themes when it came to auditing the state’s agencies and local governments: “The need for strong internal financial controls at state and local government levels; the importance of data collection, tracking, and analysis; and the failure to address the same audit findings year after year.”

    Several of the colleges and universities in the state, as well as other state entities, had repeat findings for several consecutive years, implying that they weren’t addressing problems as they were being brought to light. For students, the mistakes sometimes lead to them being billed the wrong amount for tuition and fees. But for some municipalities, the effects were greater. 

    “At the local level as well, auditors continue to find non-compliance with state laws related to budgets; failure to reconcile bank accounts; errors in accounting records; deficits in general funds and other funds; and misappropriation of money and assets,” the report reads. “The overall effect is the loss of much-needed revenue at the local level, and, for several cities on the edge of financial collapse, the takeover of their financial operations by a fiscal administrator.” Read the full report.

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