Metro Council refuses to put mayor's proposed transportation tax on ballot
BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council has opted against putting Mayor Sharon Weston Broome's transportation and road tax package on the November ballot.
The proposed 5 mill property tax and 1/2 cent sales tax would have contributed to the $540 million needed to complete all projects in the plan, according to Broome.
The property tax, which would go towards transportation and mobility improvements, would accumulate a total of $22 million in annual revenue. The sales tax, which would go towards repair and improvement of existing roads, would accumulate a total of $20 million in annual revenue.
The council vote on the measure was locked at 5-5, keeping the proposal from advancing.
The mayor's office released the following statement addressing the vote Wednesday afternoon:
While I am disappointed that the majority of the Metro Council chose not to put the Better Transportation and Roads (BTR) Plan on voters’ ballots, I respect their decision as a fellow elected official. I still believe voters should be allowed to make the decision about whether they support this plan. I remain positive that my administration and the Council can collaborate on future initiatives to address the issues faced by our citizens in East Baton Rouge Parish.
The BTR Plan received the endorsement of neighborhood and professional organizations, including the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and the Greater Baton Rouge chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). It was also apparent that many citizens were in favor of the BTR Plan, as displayed in the public informational meetings we held in each district. In light of this support and awareness of the critical need to address our infrastructure needs, my administration will continue to seek and present ways that will effectively address the issue of traffic and the lack of connected mobility in our community. We will also ensure that plans are fiscally responsible and in the best interest of taxpayers.
My administration will continue to move forward to seek solutions for not only our community’s traffic issues, but public safety, housing and other quality of place factors.