Massive increase in vehicle purchases pushes Baton Rouge sales tax collections into overdrive in October

    It looks like a lot of Baton Rouge area flood victims spent October replacing vehicles they lost in the August flood.

    Sales taxes collected on vehicle purchases in East Baton Rouge Parish surpassed $3 million in October—a 128% increase over vehicle sales taxes collected during the month last year. That helped push overall sales tax collections in the city-parish to roughly $18.9 million during the month, a nearly 24% increase over October 2015 collections of $15.3 million.

    A breakdown of the figures from the city-parish Finance Department, released Wednesday, shows strong increases inside and outside of the Baton Rouge city limits.

    Vehicle sales tax collections inside the city limits rose 108% to $1.3 million, while other collections were up 15% to $9.4 million. Outside the city limits, collections on vehicle sales soared 146% to $1.7 million, while other collections were up 11% to $6.5 million. 

    The rise in tax collections in October follows a 17% increase in September, as flood victims continue to repair homes and replace vehicles and other personal items. Tens of thousands of homes were inundated by the flood, which also damaged or destroyed an estimated 100,000 vehicles.  

    Aided by the strong increases in September and October, year-to-date sales tax collections in the city-parish were at $157.4 million through the first 10 months of this year, a 3.3% increase over 2015 collections through October.

    See the complete October sales tax report.

    View Comments