Pointe Coupee Parish government could face additional shortfalls based on the figures it received on severance tax revenue for the second fiscal quarter, according to Parish President Major Thibaut.
The parish received $190,563 on severance tax from oil for the second quarter, while timber funneled in $3,939, he told the Parish Council at its executive committee meeting on Tuesday, July 28.
The budget for the 2020 fiscal year anticipated a total of $550,000 on severance tax revenue from oil and $35,000 on timber, Thibaut said.
The reduced revenue would lead to a $205,000 downturn on oil and $29,000 on timber.
The lower figures come from a double blow the parish, state and nation have endured since the first quarter of the year.
The coronavirus pandemic triggered an economic tumble which continues to affect the nation and much of the world.
Oil prices neared the $75 mark at the beginning of the year. A production war between Russia and Saudi Arabia triggered a nosedive that brought prices to minus-$1.40 per barrel in April.
Prices have since made a slow but steady climb and now hover around $50 per barrel.
“We will continue to watch those numbers and see where we can amend the budget for it or make cuts for the rest of the year, if we have to,” Thibaut said.
Sales taxes – a major concern for the parish at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – have remained solid, however.
The intake is 2 percent above same-month totals from last year, Thibaut said.
In other business, the council will vote Aug. 11 on an ordinance to regulate breeders and boarding throughout the parish.
The proposal came after concerns over inadequate boarding facilities after an animal died in one private entity.
Councilman Paul Bergeron questioned a provision that would require all animals be inside during subfreezing temperatures.
“That’s very restrictive,” he said. “A doghouse would usually work.”
Councilman Sidney “Scooter” LaCoste agreed. He said it would pose hardships for those who own numerous angles.
“If you have 30 animals, you can’t bring them all inside,” he said.
The ordinance should give a broader regulation and require “shelter adequate to the weather.”
Bergeron said he is worried that the ordinance would be too far-reaching.
“I don’t want to overregulate the regular person who went out of town and the pen isn’t clean,” he said. “I’m all about proper care of animals, but laws that make it burdensome for everyday owners is kind of ridiculous.”
The parish will need to afford some measure of distraction to police officers or animal-control officers, but more jurisdiction is needed, Thibaut told the council.
“We need something on the book for people who do things wrong to animals,” he said. “There’s more animal issues going on here than anyone sees.”
The measure would exempt to veterinary clinics, which are already under jurisdiction from the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine.