Mayor schedules meetings to sell EBR voters on tax to pay for roads
BATON ROUGE – The mayor's office announced a series of meetings aimed at selling a property tax proposal to voters.
Earlier, the mayor announced plans for a property tax that would raise about $500 million to be used on roads throughout the parish. WBRZ.com previously highlighted which roadways would get attention HERE.
Friday, the mayor's office released a schedule of meetings – the first of which is Monday – to discuss the tax and possible projects. After all the meetings have occurred, the metro council is expected to discuss the matter and would determine whether or not the proposition should go before voters. The mayor hopes for a November ballot item. The metro council would need to approve to place the tax on a ballot and voters would have to vote yes or no for the tax.
The tax would cost homeowners about half of what is levied for public transit in the city-parish. The taxes are independent and are not tied to any one decision by voters. The so-called CATS tax is about 10 mills, the transit tax the mayor's planning is about 5 mills.
The mayor wants the new tax and will also ask voters to rededicate a sales tax tied to the Green Light Program so the money can be used on other projects.
While the mayor argues against the comparison, the proposal of both a new tax and a re-dedication of an existing sales tax for roads is similar to a failed tax plan pushed by the previous administration. Voters denied a tax proposal in the last election for traffic infrastructure. In 2016, then-Mayor Kip Holden tried to pass a 5-mill property tax to fund road work along with rededicating the previous sales tax, passed years before, also for road work.
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome's office will meet with voters from August 7 to August 31. Meetings will be held: Monday, August 7 at the Bluebonnet Library; Tuesday, August 15 at the Jones Creek Library; a tentative meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 17 at the Charles Kelly Community Center on Riley St.; a schedule meeting is set for Tuesday, August 29 at the Zachary Library and the final meeting is set for Thursday, August 31 at the Jewel J Newman Community Center. All meetings are scheduled from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
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