City-parish leaders raise concerns over latest reports on St. George incorporation

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 7:59pm

East Baton Rouge parish leaders are starting to raise some questions over the proposed city of St. George.

"We need to look at that, what is the tax situation going to be like for the people in the city of St. George, what will the taxes be for the people in the city of Baton Rouge. Those are consequences, those are very real realities," explained Councilman Buddy Amoroso.

LSU economists said the new city will take $53 million from the city-parish. Councilman John Delgado said that's a big chunk of East Baton Rouge's budget, but it may not be enough to run the new city of St. George.

"I don't know that they can make it work with $53 million quite honestly. if you look at cities like Central and Zachary and Baker all of them have had to raise their property taxes and their sales taxes to cover the expenditures the new municipalities cause," explained Councilman John Delgado.

Though councilmen John Delgado and Buddy Amoroso don't always agree, both have said creating a city, to make a school district is not the best plan.

"What they're doing now with the creation of St. George, it's like taking the ball and going home because you lost the game. I don't think this is the appropriate response, I think it's a very drastic step," added Delgado.

"I think it would be a lot easier to create a school district than a city and I think that's what the people in South East Baton Rouge, that's what the people are telling me they want," said Amoroso.

Amoroso said, whatever the outcome, it is up to the voters and the council will deal with the new budget when the time comes.

"We would have to find a way to do it, we might have to cut services. We'd have to grow the city smaller. Might not be as many services involved, I am real concerned with some of the public safety issues with the police and the fire department," added Amoroso.

Supporters of St. George have maintained that breaking away from East Baton Rouge Parish won't affect taxes for people in the new city. They continue to invite people to come and talk to them about any concerns they have.
 

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