January 26, 2024
The Municipal & Local Affairs Policy Council
About the Council’s Work
The Municipal & Local Affairs Policy Council was established at the request of Governor-elect Jeff Landry to identify challenges facing local governments and municipalities in Louisiana and to discuss and propose solutions to those problems. This council was led by Guy Cormier and St. Martinville Mayor Jason Willis. The findings listed below represent the recommendations made by the council.
Economic Development Through Tax Incentives and Exemptions
Economic development is crucial to the long-term success of Louisiana; however, there is a lack of certainty among businesses and governments with regards to tax incentives and
1. Provide clear, consistent guidance to businesses and local governments for exemption
timelines, qualifying factors, and rule changes.
2. Give local governing bodies more authority in the exemption approval process.
3. Convene a working group to study and discuss the impacts of state issues and mandates in the economic development space.
Lack of Local Government Engagement
Local governments are the closest resource to Louisiana citizens. However, they are often left out of the decision-making process at the state level. Currently, policies and statutes are implemented without the necessary input from local governments.
1. Engage with local and municipal governments before, during, and after any rule or
lawmaking process. Local governments are best equipped to understand and explain the
impact of policies on their communities.
2. Have a dedicated liaison from the Governor’s office engaging with local government.
Office Specific Initiatives
There are many facets to local governments, each having unique issues. The needs of clerks of court, tax assessors, parish and municipal leaders vary based on their constitutional responsibilities. Below are some suggestions that will enhance or improve the ability of local governments to serve their constituents.
1. Clerks of Court: To ensure safe and secure elections, the new RFP for voting machines
should include machines with an auditable paper trail. Additionally, the state should set
aside adequate funding for those machines.
2. Tax Assessors: To modernize the notification process and local notification requirements through multiple formats and platforms.
3. Mayors: Restructure grant programs for small and rural communities.
4. Parish-Governing Authorities: Study unfunded mandates and determine possible