EBR spending increases in June

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased by 2.2 percent in June.

Sales tax collection figures released Monday by the city-parish Finance Department show businesses and consumers spent $690.1 million in June. That compares with nearly $675.4 million in spending in June 2013.

The figures do not include vehicle sales, which are generally examined separately when looking at spending as an economic indicator.

Spending, excluding vehicles, within the Baton Rouge city limits was up 5.5 percent in June to $378.2 million. This includes activity at Cortana Mall and on College Drive.

Spending outside the city limits, which includes the Mall of Louisiana and big-box retailers on Siegen Lane, was down 1.6 percent in June to $311.9 million. Baton Rouge recently annexed much of the Mall of Louisiana. Hanlon said that will be reflected in sales tax collections beginning June 15 although the annexation is being challenged in court.

Vehicle sales were up 15 percent from the year before, reaching $66.6 million for the month.

Overall tax collections for the city-parish, which include vehicle sales, were up nearly 3.2 percent in June to $15.1 million.

For the first six months of the year, spending in the parish, excluding vehicle sales, ran 2.4 percent ahead of 2013’s pace, to reach $4 billion.

Spending is up 4.9 percent in the Baton Rouge city limits, to reach nearly $2.2 billion. The total is down 0.4 percent outside the city limits, at $1.8 billion.

Tax collections for the first half of 2014, which includes vehicle sales, are up 2.6 percent, to reach $88 million.