Municipal finance fuels local government. Strong financial policies and practices provide the framework for the city’s short and long-term success; they are imperative to New Orleans’ position as a competitive first-tier destination, major regional healthcare hub, and emerging technology and start-up environment. Business Council members understand that containing costs and increasing operational efficiencies are crucial to maintaining appropriate and essential public services in a cost-effective manner, and to meeting taxpayers’ expectations in the delivery of those services.
Over the past decade, the Business Council has worked with city officials to establish or improve systems for accounting, budgeting and long range financial planning, asset management, debt management, revenue forecasting, and taxation.
The Business Council-led resolution of the long-running dispute between the city and its firefighters over the management and solvency of the New Orleans Firefighters Pension & Relief Fund is among the most heralded of the Business Council’s work to strengthen the city’s fiscal health. The settlement is expected to provide a cost savings of $275 million over the next thirty (30) years. Moody’s Investors Service called the deal “a credit positive the city.” A 2015 two-grade increase in the city’s bond rating, from A- to A+, by Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency is also directly attributable to the deal.
As the city strives to maintain its fiscal health and integrity, the Business Council will continue to seek to ensure that proposed reforms and policies are framed by the core principles of good governance: efficiency accountability and transparency. It is the responsibility of the Business Council to continue to work with city officials and other like-minded organizations to preserve and enhance the city’s fiscal viability.