Reports › Government Finance

Analysis of government policies, finance, management, and administration

BGR Reports

From Answers to Action: Post-Election Policy Making

Jun 21, 2018

From Answers to Action

From Answers to Action: Post-Election Policy Making is the latest installment in BGR’s Candidate Q&A Election Series, which surveyed the mayoral and City Council candidates last fall about their positions on important issues facing City government. The new report consolidates and reissues the responses of the newly elected officials who responded to the surveys, which covered topics that persist as critically important. Examples include NOPD funding, street maintenance and land use planning.

We encourage citizens to revisit the issues by reviewing the BGR research and the elected officials’ responses presented in this report. Where the officials express positions that clearly affirm or align with BGR’s recommendations, we strongly urge them to identify – and take action on – the steps necessary to achieve those goals.

Read the full report.

Read report excerpts on these issues:

Public Safety

Effective Government

Employee Compensation and Pensions

Civil Service

Professional Services Contracting

Street Maintenance

Drainage System

Local Tax Dedications

Tax Exemptions and the Tax Base

Economic Development Tax Subsidies

Land Use Planning

On the Ballot: West Jefferson Levee District Millage

Apr 10, 2018

Ballot Issues

On April 28, voters on the west bank of Jefferson Parish will decide whether to approve a new property tax for the West Jefferson Levee District. This will be the Levee District’s second attempt at a new tax to cover the increased costs of raising and armoring levees and maintaining pump stations.

BGR Examines New Orleans’ Savings Fund Charter Amendment

Nov 1, 2017

Ballot Issues

In On the Ballot: New Orleans’ Savings Fund Charter Amendment, November 18, 2017, BGR examines the proposed amendment to establish the Savings Fund of the City of New Orleans in the City’s home rule charter.

2017 Candidate Q&A Election Series

Sep 14, 2017

2017 Candidate Q&A

BGR provides New Orleans voters with its 2017 Candidate Q&A Election Series. For the October 14th primary elections, BGR submitted questions to all mayoral and City Council candidates on public safety, infrastructure and other important public policy issues facing the City of New Orleans government. BGR compiled the answers of the candidates who responded and released them in installments for each race. In addition, BGR conducted podcast interviews with LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet, the two mayoral candidates in the November 18th runoff election. Click on the links below to access the videos and the Q&A reports.*

Read the media release.
City Council At Large Division 1
City Council At Large Division 2
City Council District A
City Council District B
City Council District C
City Council District E

*No candidate from District D responded.
Video and production by Dennis Woltering PhotoVideo.

Paying for Street Maintenance in New Orleans

May 8, 2017

Paying for Street Maintenance in New Orleans

In Paying for Streets: Options for Funding Road Maintenance in New Orleans, BGR explores ways to fund the routine maintenance necessary to safeguard the City’s $2 billion, once-in-a-lifetime capital investment in the street network.

Aligning Louisiana’s Nonprofit Property Tax Exemption with National Norms

Mar 7, 2017

March 2017 nonprofit letter

In an open letter to the Louisiana Legislature, BGR reiterates the problems with the state’s unusual nonprofit property tax exemptions. The letter explains the deficiencies in the current provisions, demonstrates their unusual status in the context of other states’ requirements and presents a template for a constitutional amendment.

On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish Taxes

Nov 17, 2016

Ballot Issues

In On the Ballot: Jefferson Parish Taxes, December 10, 2016, BGR examines and takes positions on four dedicated taxes up for renewal: a sales tax for parish sewerage, road and drainage projects, law enforcement and municipal governments in Jefferson; and three property taxes for parish drainage, recreation and public schools.

BGR Cuts Paths for Pension Reform in the Metro Area

Oct 20, 2016

Pensions IV

In Reducing the Cost of Tomorrow: A Practical Guide to Pension Reform in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany Parishes, BGR explores the changes to public pension benefits policymakers can make to reduce the costs and risks associated with the pension plans. The report is the fourth installment in a series of BGR pension reports.

Convention Center Bill Highlights Need to Rethink Local Taxation

May 11, 2016

BGR Now Logo

In Convention Center Bill Highlights Need to Rethink Local Taxation, BGR addresses a bill that would grant taxing authority to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s economic development district. The release calls for a comprehensive re-evaluation of Orleans Parish taxes, with an eye toward aligning tax revenues with the city’s most pressing needs.

BGR to Legislature: Protect Coastal Funding

Apr 14, 2016

BGR Now Logo

In Safeguard Coastal Funds, Safeguard Louisiana’s Future, BGR comments on bills filed in the 2016 legislative session that could reduce or loosen constitutional protections on coastal restoration funding.

BGR Reviews Tax Propositions for Streets, Public Safety

Mar 16, 2016

Ballot Issues

In On the Ballot: New Orleans, April 9, 2016, BGR explains and analyzes two tax propositions in New Orleans: one for street work and other improvements, and a second for the police and fire departments.

Fixing Louisiana’s Costly and Unusual Nonprofit Exemptions

Mar 2, 2016

BGR Now Logo

In It’s Time for Common Sense on Nonprofit Exemptions, BGR calls on the Louisiana Legislature to address overly broad language in the state constitution that is costly to both local governments and taxpayers.

School Board Improving Financial Stewardship

Nov 18, 2015

BGR Now Logo

In School Board Takes a Key Step Toward Better Stewardship, BGR commends the Orleans Parish School Board for taking steps to preserve the bulk of its $45 million operating reserve for the benefit of the system as a whole. It also calls on the School Board to take additional steps to improve its financial stewardship over New Orleans’ unique public education system.

Rethinking Tax Dedications in New Orleans

Nov 10, 2015

The $1 Billion Question

In The $1 Billion Question: Do the Tax Dedications in New Orleans Make Sense? BGR presents a comprehensive picture of where local tax dollars are going in Orleans Parish. The report provides breakdowns of tax dedications by entity and by purpose, and gives examples of problems that can arise when tax dedications are established with little planning and accountability. It also makes recommendations to help ensure existing tax revenues are deployed optimally.

On the October Ballot: French Quarter Tax Proposition, State Infrastructure Bank

Oct 6, 2015

On the Ballot: November 4, 2014

In On the Ballot: October 24, 2015, BGR explains, analyzes and takes positions on a proposed quarter-cent sales tax for public safety in New Orleans’ French Quarter and a constitutional amendment allowing the state to invest in an infrastructure bank.

The Hotel Assessment: A Question of Priorities, a Question of Propriety

May 14, 2013

BGR Now Logo

In this release, BGR examines a proposal to impose what amounts to a new hotel tax.

New Orleans Firefighter Pension Woes and the Legislative Session

Apr 30, 2013


In Sound the Alarm: New Orleans Firefighter Pension Woes and the Legislative Session, BGR examines the New Orleans Firefighter Pension and Relief Fund – which has become a major burden for the public – and relevant bills under consideration by the Legislature.

Report Looks at School Board’s Performance as Financial Steward

Apr 25, 2013

School Governance

In The Accidental Steward: The Orleans Parish School Board as a Resource Manager in the Reform Era, BGR examines the School Board’s performance as the financial steward for all public schools in Orleans.

Metro Area Pension Costs and the Factors that Drive Them

Nov 9, 2012

In The Rising Cost of Yesterday: Metro Area Pension Costs and the Factors that Drive Them, BGR examines 18 defined benefit pension plans available to local government workers in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes (the Plans). The report tallies the costs the Plans impose on local government entities in the three parishes, and compares the pension benefits they offer to those available to private sector workers and other state and local government workers across the U.S.

BGR Launches Exploration of Public Pensions

Apr 19, 2012

Pensions Cover 2

Understanding Pensions: A Primer on Public Employee Pension Plans is the first in a series of reports on the public pension plans in which local governments in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes participate.

Your Tax Dollars at Work - and in Retirement

Mar 28, 2012

BGR Now Logo

This edition of Now looks at the issue of public pension costs.

The Nonprofit Exemption: Bad News for Taxpayers

Jan 31, 2012

BGR Now Logo

This edition of Now addresses problems associated with the nonprofit exemption, and what can be done to solve them.

BGR Reviews 2011 Budget

Nov 24, 2010

2011 Budget Letter

On November 24, BGR sent a letter to the Mayor and City Council on the proposed 2011 budget for the City of New Orleans. The letter contains suggestions that would free up millions of dollars.

Read the letter.

Addressing Infrastructure Needs in New Orleans

Aug 11, 2010

Infrastructure Needs

In The Price of Civilization: Addressing Infrastructure Needs in New Orleans, BGR provides information on New Orleans’ core infrastructure needs and assesses the community’s capacity to fund those needs.

The Clarity Deficit

Nov 28, 2007

This release calls on the City of New Orleans to conform to charter requirements in producing its capital budget.

Budgeting in a Time of Crisis

May 17, 2007

In Budgeting in a Time of Crisis: A Review of the City of New Orleans’ 2007 Budgets, BGR examines the City’s operating and capital budgets for 2007, the second post-Katrina fiscal year.

Municipal Bankruptcy in Perspective

Apr 5, 2006

BGR and PAR have issued a joint report calling for a full appraisal of financial options for local governments in fiscal crisis.

Jefferson Parish Fiscal Outlook

Mar 25, 2004

BGR predicts tight financial times ahead for Jefferson. What can the Parish do about it? This report offers an array of options for keeping the parish coffers filled.

City of Harahan Demographics, Finances, and Employee Salaries

Sep 24, 2001

This report examines the history and current state of the operating budget and compares revenues and expenditures, including salaries, with those of comparable Louisiana cities.

Bond Propositions in Orleans Parish: November 7, 2000 Ballot

Oct 20, 2000

This report presents BGR’s positions on ballot propositions to allow the issuance of general obligation bonds of $150 million by the City of New Orleans and $27 million by the Law Enforcement District.

BGR Outlook on Orleans: Overview and Status Report on the New Orleans Capital Program

Oct 16, 2000

This issue of the Oulook series examines the capital budget process of the City of New Orleans and critiques the implementation of the 1995-approved building program.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: Jefferson Parish Government Finances

Feb 25, 1999

An overview of Jefferson Parish government and the parish’s fiscal outlook, including final general government revenues and expenditures between 1988 and 1997, and an examination of the 1999 Jefferson Parish adopted budget.

BGR Outlook on Jefferson: The Sheriff and the District Attorney

Aug 1, 1997

Second in a new series of reports highlighting the finances of Jefferson Parish Government. Baseline report on the finances of the Office of the District Attorney and the Office of the Sheriff in Jefferson Parish. Also highlights juvenile crime in the parish.

Reports Archives