Mayor proposing $350 million tax
BATON ROUGE- Mayor Kip Holden will ask the Metro Council next week to add a measure to a January agenda to introduce a tax plan which would generate $350 million.
The tax proposal would fund needed public safety infrastructure improvements.
According to Councilman Buddy Amoroso, the money would be used to pay for a new prison, upgrade the existing Juvenile facility, build a new facility for the District Attorney and pay for renovations at the Old Woman's Hospital location, now occupied by BRPD.
Though, Amoroso isn't thrilled the mayor wants voters to decide on the tax in May.
"I would ask the administration to reconsider," said Amoroso, "not having the election in May, hold it in October so we can have a good vetting of the situation, that's going to be the governor's elections, we'll have the legislator's election, you know we'll have a much better turnout if we wait until October."
That sentiment is echoed by other councilmen who think the mayor may be rushing the issue.
"There's is no doubt that we need to improve our public safety infrastructure in East Baton Rouge Parish, we have needed a new jail for ten years, we need a mental health facility to treat inmates who have mental health problems, we've needed juvenile facilities, go out to juvenile court right now, it is falling down," said Councilman John Delgado, "so we need this, it is a question of how much money this is going to cost, how we're going to pay for it and making sure the people have their input."
The measure wouldn't be formally introduced to the council until the first meeting next year.