Combined sales and vehicle tax collections drastically rose in East Baton Rouge Parish in September as residents spent money to replace personal items and cars lost to the historic August flood.
The latest figures from the city-parish’s Finance Department show combined vehicle and sales tax collections in the entire parish were approximately $18.5 million, a nearly 17% increase over September 2015 collections of $15.8 million.
Excluding vehicle tax collections, sales tax collections rose approximately 12.9% from $14.4 million to $16.3 million this year. Vehicle collections, generally considered a volatile economic measure, were $2.21 million, up 59% over last year’s collection of approximately $1.39 million.
September was the first full month that Capital Region residents had to recover from the devastating August flood, which decimated tens of thousands of homes, schools, businesses and vehicles.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau has estimated that widespread flooding damaged as many as 100,000 insured cars and trucks in south Louisiana. Rental car companies and car dealerships brought in new inventory to replace what they lost to the flood and to meet market demand.
A breakdown of the total September collections shows spending outside of city limits increased 17.45%, from approximately $7 million last year to roughly $8.25 million this year.
Spending inside the city limits increased approximately 16.6%, from roughly $8.78 million last year to $10.24 million this year.
The September spending boosted year-to-date combined tax collections by nearly 1%. The city-parish Finance Department attributes the increase to spending related to flood recovery.