Mayor Holden stands behind $748 million tax plan
BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden addressed a packed Baton Rouge Press Club today, defending and explaining his $748 million capital improvements plan.
Unlike two other failed attempts to pass the tax plan, Holden said this time it will be broken into three components: infrastructure, public safety and economic development.
"We are serious about the vitality of this town and the city," Holden said.
The plan is already generating controversy among Metro Council Members, and some have already gone on the record opposing it. The Council must approve the plan before it goes to voters for a final say.
"I will not again engage in back-and-fourth with the Council," Holden said. "I tell you, I'll present the case to the people and hopefully they will see the critical need."
News 2 has learned that if the plan is approved some areas of East Baton Rouge Parish would have the highest sales tax rates in the state, such as northern parts of the parish which could see rates reach nearly 10.25 percent.
Despite the rising cost of taxes associated with the plan Holden said it is necessary for the Parish. He does not believe people will move away to surrounding parishes due to the taxes.
"We will not look for an exodus of people, bottom line," Holden said.