Sales tax collections rise in Terrebonne, Lafourche


Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes saw a combined increase of more than $11.5 million in sales tax revenues last year, a sign that the local economy may be improving.

Local sales taxes are divided between parish government, law enforcement and levee, road and school districts.

According to totals from the Terrebonne Sales and Use Tax Department, Terrebonne Parish collected about $120 million last year. That’s a $3.7 million increase from 2017.

This is the second year in a row of increased sales tax revenue for Terrebonne.

Lafourche’s gains were even stronger. According to monthly collection totals reported by the Lafourche School Board’s Sales Tax Department, the parish collected about $80.2 million in 2018, a $7.8 million increase.

This is the first increase the parish has seen in at least four years and brings collections back up to the level seen in 2015.

“An increase is sales tax revenue means a better, stronger and more viable Lafourche. We continue to promote #buylocal and are grateful to wait for a table to dine in our restaurants,” Lafourche Chamber of Commerce CEO Lin Kiger said.

Numbers at a glance


$120 million in total collections.

Monthly collections average $10 million.

Up $3.7 million from 2017.

Continuing two-year upward trend.

Parishwide sales tax rate is 5.5 percent.


$80.2 million in total collections.

Monthly collections average $6.7 million.

Up $7.8 milllion from 2017.

First increase since 2014.

First time breaking $80 million since 2014.

Parish sales tax rates vary from 4.65 to 5.4 percent.

“We have continued to witness an increase in trucks on our highways and are hopeful that this activity only adds to the sales tax collection in 2019 and beyond,” Kiger said. “We look forward to more jobs and opportunities and growth on the horizon.”

The last time the parish broke $80 million was in 2014 when it collected about $83.2 million. Since the economic downturn, Lafourche sales tax collections reached a low of $72.4 million in 2017.

“As always, it is our hope to see collections continue to grow — allowing additional dollars for infrastructure, education and tourism throughout our parish,” Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce CEO Tammy Ledet said.

Terrebonne’s lowest point in recent years was $98.5 million in 2010.

The sales tax numbers are starting to match up with other economic indicators, said Matt Rookard, Terrebonne Economic Development Authority CEO.

Local unemployment numbers started to stabilize at the end of 2018, signaling the beginning of the slow recovery cycle, he said.

“The increased sales tax revenue is a good sign that our economy is going in a positive direction,” said Nicol Blanchard, Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce CEO. “Consumers are enjoying the low gas prices allowing them to have more spendable income while the oil and gas industry becomes more efficient and optimistic when planning for the future. The chamber is encouraged by this growth and hopes that it continues.”

In the future, 2017 will probably be known as one of the toughest economic years as the area stayed at the bottom of the down cycle, Rookard said.

“We were at the bottom and stayed there for a significant time,” Rookard said. “I do think there’s a recovery coming.”

As the job market stabilizes, consumer confidence will increase, and that drives sales taxes, he said.

As TEDA continues to look for new development opportunities, companies are pivoting from getting by to planning for growth.

Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com.

Ribbon Cutting at the Academy Place Apartments, a Senior Living Community

Volunteers of America's Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation celebrated on Nov 15, 2017, the grand opening of its newest residential development in Houma, Academy Place apartments, a senior living community. The project was completed in partnership with Terrebonne Council on Aging and Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government, among others. It features the renovated historic Houma Elementary School renovated and expanded to feature 103 affordable one and two-bedroom apartments for residents ages 62 and older, plus community centers.

Mr. Clarence Williams completes his term on TEDA's Board of Directors

                           CLARENCE WILLIAMS                             BOARD OF DIRECTORS                                        2007-2017

                           CLARENCE WILLIAMS

                         BOARD OF DIRECTORS


TEDA's Board President, Mr. Chad Hebert, shows appreciation to Mr. Clarence Williams for his time served on the Board of Directors. Thank you Mr. Williams for your generous commitment of time, support and inspiration to TEDA.  


About Offshore Europe 2017

Offshore Europe features over 56,000 attendees and offers Louisiana companies an opportunity to engage directly with international market leaders and innovative technology companies. As Europe’s leading energy and petroleum event, the conference attracts global audiences of engineers, technical specialists and industry leaders. The 2017 conference will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center and is organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. 

STEP Grant Opportunity

LED’s STEP Grant will offer travel expense reimbursements of up to 75 percent for new-to-export companies and up to 50 percent for market-expansion companies, for total assistance of up to $2,500 per company for attending Offshore Europe.

Learn more about utilizing the STEP Grant for Offshore Europe by clicking here or by calling

Sheba Person-Whitley - Senior International Trade Manager
International Commerce Division - Louisiana Economic Development
T     225.342.2537
C     225.772.2981

617 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

TEDA's CEO, Matthew Rookard, spoke at the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce General Membership Luncheon

Terrebonne Economic Development Authority CEO Matthew Rookard outlined his organization’s plans for growing Terrebonne Parish’s economy Tuesday before the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce.

Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute - Classes starting Soon

Registration begins June 26, 2017 and last day to register for class will be September 11, 2017.

The Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute, a partnership between Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Community & Technical College System and the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors offers small and emerging construction Businesses critical information about construction management and how to prepare for the Business Law parts of the contractors state licensing exam.  

Your Pie: Craft pizza and beer eatery coming to Houma

your pie.JPG

A new casual craft pizza and beer restaurant will open in Houma late this summer offering pizza and panini, as well as gelato and craft beer.

Your Pie is set to open Aug. 1 at 1378 W. Tunnel Blvd. Aug. 1, across from the Plantation Inn, but Ricky Reaves, the owner and local entrepreneur, said he’s aiming to open a bit sooner.

Mr. Kerry Chauvin completes his term on TEDA's Board of Directors

                         KERRY CHAUVIN                       BOARD OF DIRECTORS                                  2013-1016

                         KERRY CHAUVIN

                   BOARD OF DIRECTORS


TEDA's Board President, Mr. Chad Hebert, shows appreciation to Mr. Kerry Chauvin for his time served as President on the Board of Directors.  Thank you Kerry for your generous commitment of time, support and inspiration to TEDA. 

Business Dreams become reality for mom


For Nicole Reding, a native of Cut Off, opening a vintage re-sale clothing store in downtown Houma had been a dream she had been working toward for more than two years as she collected inventory at her home and struggled to find a location for her business.

SBDC Success Story - Martial Art Studio

martial arts 2.jpg

Nathan Parfait, owner of Martial Art Studio, came to the SBDC to seek assistance with his loan package. Nathan worked with the SBDC to do the financial projections and loan packaging that resulted in capital formation of $145,135 ($130,135 Loan and $15,000 Owner Investment). Since Martial Arts Studio has received funding, they have expanded their program to an After School and Summer Camp program, and increased their sales by $96,000. The business has also added a program for when kids are out of school (School Year camps). Overall Martial Arts Studio has impacted the local economy by adding 1 Full Time and 6 Part Time employees. During the summer Martial Arts Studio employed 20 Part Time employees for the summer camp.

This year they are opening their 2nd location in Thibodaux. The company is looking to hire another Full Time and 4 Part Time Employees. Parfait says, "When this location gets moving and we have a solid growth like the Houma location, we will open a third location in either Raceland or Morgan City."

SBA small.png

Martial Art Studio
130 Alliance Court, Houma

February’s monthly job growth shows significant gains throughout Louisiana

BATON ROUGE – Job creation in Louisiana is showing considerable gains in key areas for the first time in more than a year, according to the most recent released data by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) for February 2017.   See complete article below. 

LA oil and gas struggles to bounce back with 1,800 jobs lost in January

TERREBONNE PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The latest job numbers for Louisiana's oil and gas show the industry is not bouncing back as quickly as expected. 

The industry lost 1,800 jobs in January, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.  

To see more of this article and video, please click below.  Thank you!

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.

Village East to get Community Center and Splash Park

By Dan Boudreaux Staff Writer of the Houma Courier

Plans are underway to build a new community center and splash pad in Terrebonne's Village East neighborhood.

The project will cost around $875,000, and the money has already been allocated in parish government's 2017 operating budget.

The Parish Council voted tonight to move forward with the project.

Councilman John Navy said the project will give kids in and around east Houma who can't travel to other parts of the city something to do and allow them to stay active and out of trouble.

"We budgeted this thing for the community centers to try to have things for kids in all areas of the parish, especially for kids who can't go to other areas to enjoy those things," Navy said. "Bayou Black has a splash pad, so what we did was try to have something like that for all those kids out in the Village East area and surrounding areas that have nothing to do."

Navy said measures to give children something constructive to do are a major focus for him as a councilman and he hopes they will benefit the entire parish.

"We want to be able to provide some kind of quality-of-life project for our kids, not just the 'field of dreams' off on (La.) 311, but different things down the bayou, in the inner city, all different areas," Navy said.

The parish expects to take bids on construction of the community center next month.

The council has scheduled a public hearing and final vote on the splash pad for 6:30 p.m. March 22 at the Government Tower, Main and Gabasse streets in Houma.

$3 Million in Healthcare Investment comes to Houma

Global healthcare company Grifols opens Biomat USA Inc. plasma donation center in Houma on Feb. 14, investing $3 million into the local community. The new facility, at 1750 MLK Blvd, will provide as many as 50 local jobs once fully operational.

"We are so excited to be opening in Houma," said Chad Parr, center manager. "I expect this facility to be a benefit to our local economy while also helping to save the lives of thousands of patients around the world."

Plasma donated at Grifols plasma donor centers is used to produce important medicines for people with rare and serious conditions, such as immune deficiencies, bleeding disorders, a rare neurological disorder, a genetic form of emphysema and to treat shock, trauma and burns. Grifols operates the largest network of plasma donor centers in the world that includes over 160 centers in the United States.

Grifols expects the facility will ultimately contribute more than $3.6 million annually to the local economy through payroll, donor fees and other operating expenses. TEDA expects it will generate approximately $1.6 million in new taxes for the parish over the next 10 years.

"TEDA is pleased that Grifols chose Houma for its newest plasma donation center," said Matt Rookard,  CEO for TEDA.  "The new facility represents a sizeable capital investment and good job opportunities for local health care professionals. Additionally, it will allow more dollars to flow into the local economy. We are looking forward to adding another new business to our great community."