Primary Season State Profile: Louisiana

Published by Peter Lawrence on Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 12:00am

In 2014, 20 percent of Louisiana’s 4.7 million residents lived in poverty, including nearly 28 percent of children, ranking the state 48th nationally. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina damaged more than a million residences in the Gulf Coast region; about half of these damaged units were located in Louisiana. In New Orleans alone, 134,000 housing units — 70 percent of all occupied units — suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding. To encourage rebuilding and recovery, Congress passed and President Bush signed H.R. 4440, the Gulf Opportunities Zone (GO Zone) Act of 2005. While there has been rebuilding, both physical and economic, more than 170,000 households in Louisiana pay more than half their income on rent.

Politics

  • Presidential Primary: March 5, 2016
  • Number of delegates: 46 Republican/59 Democratic
  • Allocation method: Proportional
  • 8 electoral votes
  • 2012 Results: Mitt Romney won Louisiana by 58 percent to 41 percent over President Obama.

Tax Credit Usage in Louisiana

The GO Zone Act provided, among other things, $1 billion in additional new markets tax credit (NMTC) allocation, more than $3 billion in LIHTCs (including $1.7 billion in Louisiana) and a 30 percent increase in the historic tax credit (HTC) percentage. A 2010 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said that by June 2009–45 months after Katrina–about 23,000 rental units in the GO Zone were funded through LIHTC equity. That number continued to grow in subsequent years.

In July 2015, the Louisiana Housing Corporation approved $74.4 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTCs) for 8 affordable rental housing developments containing 1,5,06 affordable rental homes. Seven of the eight were new construction. Looking at Louisiana’s 2013 allocations, 18 percent went to developments catering to elderly residents and 36 percent were to rural developments. To understand Louisiana’s LIHTC priorities, the state’s qualified allocation plan (QAP) is here.

Blog Graph Snapshot: LIHTC Properties and Poverty Rates in Louisiana
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The LIHTC, NMTC and historic tax credit (HTC) have combined to assist in the addition of nearly 155,000 jobs in Louisiana. For other impacts the credits have had in the state, see the table below.

Blog Chart LIHTC, NMTC and HTC Use in Louisiana
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Renewable Energy Landscape

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports that Louisiana has three manufacturing facilities in the state producing products for the wind energy industry. In 2014, the wind energy industry in Louisiana supported between 100 and 500 jobs, either directly or indirectly.

There was 31 MW of solar capacity installed in Louisiana in 2014. The state ranked 19th nationally in 2014 installed solar capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The 86 MW of solar energy currently installed in Louisiana ranks the state 23rd in the country in installed solar capacity. SEIA says several large retailers in Louisiana have gone solar, including Whole Foods and Walmart. Walmart has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 293 kW of solar capacity at their location in Many. There are currently more than 62 solar companies at work in Louisiana, employing 2,000 people.