History tells us that everyday citizens played a major role in the World War II war effort by doing little things to help out their country. Women painted on hosiery and donated their nylons. Families rationed food. Citizens even salvaged aluminum cans to help build everything from canteens to navy ships. One U.S. war poster during this time persuaded Americans to conserve materials because waste helps the enemy.

Its a different world now, but the message of the World War II home front still rings true and is still relevant, especially for state agencies. The little things really do add up, and if we all work to develop cost cutting and revenue enhancing strategies, substantial improvements can be made for the state without costing Louisiana taxpayers.

The State Treasury and the Louisiana Department of Revenue are doing just that and recently developed a new depositing procedure that will earn the state double the interest on some tobacco and inheritance tax deposits. How did we do it?

The Baton Rouge Regional Office of the Louisiana Department of Revenue will be joining other regional offices in making daily deposits at local bank branches instead of sending checks to department headquarters for depositing. There is at least a two-day reduction in deposit time using this new procedure, resulting in additional interest earned for the state.

The Baton Rouge Regional Office used to deposit tobacco taxes two to three times each month for a total of $300,000. The office also made two to three weekly inheritance tax deposits for a total of nearly $7,000 each month.

It seems so simple, yet this new procedure will earn the state nearly $4,000 a year in interest. While we realize this may not seem like a huge amount when you look at Louisiana’s multi-billion dollar budget, keep in mind the little things add up.

Treasury and the Office of Motor Vehicles developed a similar system that improved little things here and there like faster check deposits and other improved cash management practices. These added up to $500,000 a year ever since. Other state agencies seeking ways to save money and improve earnings should contact Treasury’s cash management audit program at (225) 342-0055.

We, at Treasury, are not asking state leaders to donate their nylons or ration their food. Were simply encouraging them to develop creative strategies that will help them do more with less in an effort to improve earnings and cut costs. Little things can really add up and whether were talking about hundreds or millions of dollars the money the state earns today is that much more than it had yesterday.