Study shows Red River has generated billions of dollars for economy

A study commissioned by the Red River Waterway Commission shows that a navigable Red River has generated billions of dollars in sales, spending and earnings since the project was completed a half-century ago.

Commission member David Jones told members of the Bossier Parish Police Jury Feb. 5 that the “water highway” has proved to be a wise investment for the parishes along its route.

“Our study showed that every dollar collected in property taxes for the river generates more than $36 in new spending, $60 dollars in new business sales and $18 for new household earnings,” Jones reported.

Since the waterway was created 50 years ago, $373 million in additional taxes has been collected by local governments, Jones said. “The taxpayer got about an 11.8 times return on what they paid in taxes,” he added.

While the dollars generated are impressive, Jones said adding casinos to the mix make the dollar amounts eye-popping. Including gaming, totals since the waterway was completed are $35.3 billion in new spending, $50.6 billion in new business sales and $14.5 billion in new household earnings. A total of 11,506 new jobs also were added to the area workforce.