Groups offer tax strategies to fund child care

NEW ORLEANS (press release) — The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, in partnership with the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center and BI Moody, III College of Business at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, today released the report, “Local Taxation in Louisiana: Alternatives for Local Public childcare support”. This report provides an overview of local taxation opportunities in Louisiana, focusing on the legal framework for generating new revenue streams for early childhood education and care and the ability for communities and local governments to collect additional taxes at the local level.

“Louisiana local governments looking for new sources of funding to support child care can use this resource to explore alternatives and find a solution that best meets local needs,” said Stephen Barnes, PhD, director of Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center. “We encourage local leaders to use the report as a starting point to consider local tax bases, administrative capacity, the potential impact of a tax on residents, and different methods of creating and structuring tax districts.”

Despite recent increases in state funding for early childhood care and education, the need for expanded access to quality child care is widespread across the state. Local governments can provide additional revenue streams to supplement what is already available from state and federal sources and help fill the access gap for Louisiana’s many unsupported working-class families.

“Local communities have the opportunity to use state matching funds through the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund to expand access to quality early childhood care and education for the children who need it most in their communities. The fund provides a dollar-for-dollar match for these investments, and right now there is over $48 million available to these communities,” said Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D., executive director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children.

An example of a local early childhood education and care tax initiative is the property tax measure recently approved by voters in the Borough of Orleans. The property tax measure, also called millage, will create 1,000 or more places for low-income children annually for the next 20 years. These funds will also expand the range of quality early childhood learning centers and will fund support services for children and families, and coaching and professional development for teachers. This successful, voter-backed referendum is an excellent example of a strategy highlighted in the report.

To view this report in full, please visit the Blanco Public Policy Center and to make inquiries contact Stephen Barnes, Ph.D. at [email protected]