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COST OF LIVING

Northeast Louisiana is an easy and affordable place to live.

Anchored by the city of Monroe, the twelve-parish region's unique geographic attributes and a strong economy help distinguish Northeast Louisiana while keeping costs low for its residents. Monroe's composite cost of living score of 95.5, as calculated by the Council for Community and Economic Research, ranks well below the national average and means residents can enjoy more “bang for the buck” opportunities related to quality of life.

Homeowners are able to take advantage of the region's variety of housing and competitive pricing. In particular, housing costs are far lower than those in cities such as Houston or Denver, where housing is nearly 31 percent higher than Monroe. In addition, Northeast Louisiana residents enjoy some of the nation’s most homeowner-friendly property tax policies such as Louisiana's homestead exemption, through which homeowners receive an exemption on local property taxes of up to $75,000 off their primary residence. According to a 2013 report from NerdWallet — a consumer advocacy site — West Monroe ranked as Louisiana's fifth best family-friendly city according to factors such as median home value, ongoing home ownership costs, median income, economic growth and public school ratings.

In addition, because Louisiana is home to some of the nation’s top energy-producing areas, home energy and electricity costs for Monroe residents also remain low — well below the national average and less than other southern U.S. cities including Dallas and Houston.

In 2013, Forbes named Monroe one of its top 65 best small places in the nation for businesses and careers, due in part to past and projected job growth, overall costs for both business and living as well as other quality of life criteria.

 

Source – Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) Cost of Living Index, 2014 Annual Report