AEDC launches incentives analysis

Staff reports

SORRENTO – The Ascension Economic Development Corporation announced  the commissioning of a full scale analysis of best practices regarding local economic development discretionary incentives.  AEDC has entered into a contract with Taimerica Management Company of Mandeville produce this analysis.

This effort is a key element of AEDC’s strategic initiatives for calendar year 2011, AEDC said in a release.

The project is an outgrowth of discussions between AEDC and elected and appointed officials in Ascension Parish about how to better position the parish and its municipalities to compete for economic development deals.

“The competition for attractive economic development deals is intense,” said AEDC President and CEO Mike Eades. “At present, we have limited tools in our arsenal to cement the attraction of new enterprises and-or the expansion/retention of existing employers. Frankly, we’re getting

out-gunned by other communities in Louisiana and surrounding states.”

“This analysis will provide us with empirical evidence as to the kinds of discretionary incentives being offered by competing communities and the inner-workings of these programs.  With this information in hand, we will work with our parish and municipal officials to determine if and under what circumstances we would offer discretionary incentives to economic development prospects”, Eades explained.

Eades cautioned that AEDC will run each potential deal through a comprehensive

cost-benefit analysis prior to recommending that discretionary incentives be offered to any prospect.

The analysis will be completed in April 2011.

AEDC will then work with parish and municipal officials to determine which incentives are appropriate and to structure the decision-making process for individual deals.

“We expect that some of our recommendations may require the adoption of enabling ordinances by parish and-or municipal governments”, Eades said.