New taxes for roads, mental health center to be discussed Wednesday
BATON ROUGE - Metro Council will discuss five new tax proposals at its meeting Wednesday.
Among the items are taxes on property to pay for new roads and a mental health facility. Also, the council will consider a two-percent tax on hotel rooms to raise money for the newly-created Baton Rouge North Economic Development District, the River Center and Visit Baton Rouge. There are a number of tax renewals up for discussion, too.
The council will be asked to send a tax proposals to voters on the December ballot to pay for the long-discussed mental health facility. The facility would cost the average homeowner in East Baton Rouge about $25 a year. City officials have often discussed the need for such a facility.
A more costly tax - at 5.0 mills - could also be decided on the same December 10, 2016, election. The tax for roads would cost the average homeowner about $87.50. Money raised would be used along with reallocating half of the current, half-cent Green Light sales tax to pay for additional road work - including widening current streets and building new highways in the parish.
The two hotel room taxes are 2% of the cost of renting rooms. One would add the tax to rooms only within the boundaries of the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District. Money generated would be used to develop the economy of North Baton Rouge. The other would add the tax to rooms in East Baton Rouge but not in the economic development district or Baker, Central and Zachary. The money raised would be split between River Center and Visit Baton Rouge - the city's tourism and promotions organization. A representative for the River Center said the tax would help pay for overdue upgrades to the facility.
The December election is also when voters will decide runoffs following the November election.
The Metro Council meeting begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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