Latest Secession Attempt: Baton Rouge's Richer Side
St. George wants to split off from Louisiana capital
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2013 2:13 AM CST
The Baton Rouge skyline.   (southeastBR/Wikipedia)

(Newser) – A drive to create a new school district has snowballed into a push to split Louisiana's capital in two, with the largely wealthy and white southern part of Baton Rouge moving to secede and become the city of St. George, the Raw Story finds. The new city would have around a quarter of Baton Rouge's residents, but would rake in some 40% of its sales tax revenue with the help of two major retail centers. That would leave the northern part of the city, its population swollen by 200,000 former New Orleans residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina, struggling to fund its services, according to a study examining the potential secession.

Leaders of the St. George secession effort say they now have around half the signatures needed to put it to a vote, reports the Advocate. They say the new city will be "wide open" and downplay warnings of fiscal disaster for the rest of the city, but opponents describe secession as unfair, noting that city funds were used to develop retail areas that would end up sucking in sales taxes from residents of the poorer part of the city. "If they pull away from Baton Rouge, it will affect everyone," says a councilwoman. "We’ve spent millions of dollars on improvements out there and making traffic better, and now they want to be their own city?" (Click for the latest on Colorado's secession efforts.)

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Showing 3 of 107 comments
rex84
Jan 6, 2014 12:19 PM CST
One key fact that’s missing in most of these stories, most of which appear to be based on a report in The Raw Story, is that St. George is in unincorporated East Baton Rouge Parish, not the city of Baton Rouge. The articles describe St. George as “seceding” from the city of Baton Rouge, but that’s not true: St. George is entirely unincorporated and was never part of the city.
793tango
Dec 2, 2013 6:53 PM CST
Because heaven FORBID that the rich should have to share the same city with THOSE people!
DarthWD56
Dec 2, 2013 10:00 AM CST
Can somebody please ban Donald.DARKO and no its not for his comments. Its for his fricken spamming the board....what the hell Newser...