Shreveport Property Tax Collections Down – Sales Tax Revenues Up
In the recent State Legislative Audit of Shreveport's finances, there are some issues outlined by auditors that need corrective action, but I found some info in the document that should raise some serious red flags.
Property taxes have plummeted in Shreveport over the past 10 years. In 2012, the city collected $58 million in property taxes. That number has been fading with only a couple of years of growth in 2013 and 2014 when property taxes topped the $59 million mark. Property tax collections for 2020 dropped to $42 million and that number fell to $41 million in 2021. But there is an explanation for this massive dip in property tax collections. The millage rate has dropped from 39.7 mils in 2021 to 26.58 in 2021. This means that millages have rolled off the books. And we know attempts to pass new millages in Shreveport have been met with resistance across the city.
But the story is different for sales taxes. In 2012, Shreveport collected $113 million in sales taxes. That number has climbed every year except 2015 and 2016 when the sales tax collections dropped to $116 and $115 million. In 2017, sales tax collections started climbing dramatically. Shreveport pulled in close to $150 million in sales tax revenue in 2021.
The state legislative audit report shows as the economy reopened, sales tax revenues have recovered robustly. Sales taxes revenues are up 17% from one year ago. But economists are very concerned about this bubble bursting. Federal Covid money is no longer flowing to residents and folks have been tightening their belts as inflation hits.
But others say people will still have to buy things and at higher prices, sales tax collections also go up. But you have to wonder if its a good thing for a city to be so heavily dependent on sales tax revenues which can be volatile. You can click here to get the full audit report.
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