6 Parishes that Are Losing the Most Money in Louisiana

Date: October 13, 2015

New report highlights the parishes that are doing the best and worst in the state.

Three out of four parishes in Louisiana are losing money, according to a map of recent Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Census Bureau data. The state lost $7.04 billion in annual adjusted gross income (AGI) between 1992 and 2013, making it the 11th top wealth-losing state in the country.

The map uses data from Travis H. Brown’s book, How Money Walks: How $2 Trillion Moved Between the States, and Why It Matters, to show how states with no income taxes (such as Texas and Florida) have attracted thousands of people—and millions of dollars in income—over the past two decades. The states with the highest income tax rates (such as New York and California) have experienced the greatest losses.

Even though Louisiana’s tax burden is among the lowest in the U.S., only a quarter of its parishes are gaining wealth and even fewer are growing in population. Orleans, Jefferson and East Baton Rouge parishes experienced the greatest blows over the map’s 21-year period, with depletions of more than $1.5 billion each. Louisiana’s next-door neighbor, where personal and corporate income taxes are nowhere to be found, is largely to blame: Nearly $3.5 billion left the state for Texas between 1992 and 2013.

Orleans and East Baton Rouge are home to Louisiana’s biggest cities, and the loss of wealth in those parishes points to a national trend of wealth moving to the suburbs. Total AGI and population in Orleans Parish have been steadily declining for years, even before Hurricane Katrina.

Where Louisiana gained wealth, it often did so from states with worse tax climates. California, where the top income tax rate (13.3%) is more than double Louisiana’s (6%), brought $171.76 million in annual AGI to the state during that time period.

And on the bright side, St. Tammany Parish attracted an impressive $1.3 billion and nearly 30,000 new residents. Ascension Parish and Livingston Parish follow, with gains of $742.88 million and $660.31 million, respectively.

Here are the six parishes losing the most wealth in Louisiana:

1.    Orleans Parish lost $2.33 billion in annual AGI and lost 89,517 residents

2.    Jefferson Parish lost $2.2 billion in annual AGI and lost 36,323 residents

3.    East Baton Rouge Parish lost $1.51 billion in annual AGI and lost 18,506 residents

4.    Caddo Parish lost $507.89 million in annual AGI and lost 16,391 residents

5.    St. Bernard Parish lost $498.14 million in annual AGI and lost 12,293 residents

6.    Vernon Parish lost $404.99 million in annual AGI and lost 11,288 residents

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Louisiana

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