Shift Your Thinking: Infrastructure Programs and Why Your Tax Dollars are Important.

May 21, 2024

Shift Your Thinking: Infrastructure Programs and Why Your Tax Dollars are Important.

The strength of the state of Louisiana’s lies within the smaller towns, municipalities and parishes and their infrastructure programs. Stretching far beyond the basic upkeep of roads and bridges, these programs are part of the comprehensive effort to enhance the very fabric of our unique community. For Louisiana localities, this means:

- addressing transportation needs through road repairs and bridge reinforcements

- diving into the critical systems with upgrades to water and sewerage infrastructure

- mitigating pollution risks

- enabling digital inclusivity through the enhancement of internet connectivity

- upgrading the electric grid, for reliability and efficiency and embracing sustainable energy solutions

For many smaller communities these infrastructure projects can seem both overwhelming in scope and an expensive use of tax dollars. But, it is crucial that the current and next generation of public servants see these projects as essential, not only for public health and safety but as a catalyst for economic growth and community resilience. It requires a shift in thinking; from seeing these projects as a cost center to truly understanding infrastructure as an overall community benefit.

The Economic Ripple Effect of Investing in Infrastructure

Through a comprehensive understanding of benefits, stakeholders better appreciate the depth and breadth of opportunities that infrastructure programs present. This knowledge empowers communities to advocate for and invest in projects that address short and long-term goals, setting the stage for a future where the vitality and sustainability of Louisiana’s smaller towns, municipalities and parishes thrive. When communities spend their tax dollars on infrastructure programs it sets off a dynamic economic ripple effect breathing new life into local economies. The ripple effect is comprised of increases in: job creation, new businesses, higher property values and technology.

Job Creation
Infrastructure projects are prolific job creators, opening up numerous opportunities within the construction sector.

Hiring Local: The scale and scope of infrastructure projects often necessitate hiring locally, which means that the economic benefits are directly infused into the communities where the projects are undertaken. Building bridges, laying new sewerage lines, designing better roads, delivering ADA sidewalks or upgrading water treatment plants all require a substantial workforce from planning, to execution and ongoing maintenance. Engineers, architects, construction workers and laborers are all a part of this ecosystem. Whether the projects are large or small, the work requires a diverse array of skilled and unskilled workers directly from your community.

Variety of Roles: While some roles require specialized training and qualifications, others offer entry-level positions that allow for on-the-job training and skill development. This inclusivity in employment helps address socioeconomic disparities by providing pathways to stable and well-paying jobs for individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Additional Benefits: There are additional benefits in what is known as indirect employment; benefits that extend to various support industries such as suppliers of construction materials, equipment manufacturers and service providers. Localized job creation both reduces unemployment rates while boosting consumer spending power, leading to increased demand for goods and services in the area. As a result, businesses across different sectors experience growth, further fueling economic expansion.

New Business
The enhancement of roads and transit networks leads to potential new stores, business and additional retail locations.

Urban Revitalization: New roads or the expansion of existing ones often increase traffic flow through certain areas, thereby attracting attention from retailers and service providers looking to capitalize on the influx of potential customers. Often, these infrastructure projects dovetail with urban revitalization efforts, where neglected or underutilized areas are transformed into vibrant economic hubs. Redevelopment projects spurred by infrastructure investments attract investors and developers interested in the newfound opportunities presented by improved connectivity. This revitalization process not only rejuvenates neighborhoods but also creates environments conducive to entrepreneurship and business innovation.

Looking and Feeling Good: Well-maintained infrastructure creates an aesthetic appeal in an area, making it more attractive to potential investors, business owners, and consumers. Projects to improve the community such as streetscapes and landscaping, can create inviting environments that encourage foot traffic and patronage of local businesses. Those infrastructure projects that utilize sustainability and energy efficiency, position communities as leaders in environmental stewardship, attracting next-generation environmentally conscious consumers and businesses.

Higher Property Values
More jobs and more business revenue can lead to overall higher property values.

Cyclical Effect: In addition to enhancing the physical environment, infrastructure improvements also stimulate economic growth and job creation, which in turn, drive demand for housing. As businesses expand and new ventures emerge, there is a growing need for workforce housing to accommodate employees. This increased demand for housing fuels competition among buyers and renters, exerting upward pressure on property values.

Wealth Creation: The presence of new jobs, thriving local businesses and improved infrastructure helps to transform neighborhoods into desirable places to live, work and invest. When the demand for housing increases it leads to higher property prices and rents. Homeowners and landlords benefit from the overall appreciation of their properties, translating into increased equity over time and wealth creation.

More Appeal: While infrastructure projects may coincide with urban revitalization, it also often coincides with larger strategic planning efforts aimed at improving the quality of life and overall health of the community. Supporting entities like green spaces, parks, schools and healthcare means communities become more liveable and more sustainable long term. These amenities contribute to the overall appeal of smaller towns, municipalities and parishes, further bolstering property values.

Growth in broadband connectivity is a cornerstone of a modern infrastructure investment, ensuring that the community remains competitive and integrated in an increasingly digital world.

Online and Offline Economy: Broadband connectivity bridges the digital divide, ensuring that businesses, students, work-from home-professionals, the disabled and elderly have equal access to resources and opportunities. Broadband connectivity is essential for driving economic growth and fostering innovation in both the offline and online economy.

Healthcare: Access to high-speed internet supports the overall improvement of medical services for small towns, municipalities and parishes. Better internet offers resources for existing brick-and-mortar doctors, to learn, consult and gain additional support in helping their patients. In addition it provides access to telemedicine, revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare services and expanding access to medical care, especially in underserved or remote areas. This type of support keeps community members healthier and the overall community more stable.

School Support: With the proliferation of online learning platforms, digital textbooks, and educational videos, students of all ages rely on high-speed internet. These modern learners require a path to virtual classrooms, the ability to engage in remote learning opportunities and access to educational materials from anywhere, anytime. Through technology infrastructure, we offer our Louisiana children and adult learners continual growth opportunities.


This shift in thinking around infrastructure projects for Louisiana communities, from cost to benefit, is pivotal to help move the state towards sustainable development and prosperity. As we continue to consider infrastructure programs, it becomes clear why the allocation of tax dollars to these projects is not just an expense but an investment in the future of Louisiana.

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