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Protest over CATS property tax gaining momentum

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Posted: Dec 19, 2013 10:12 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Dec 20, 2013 7:01 AM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 5.0 (2 votes)

Topics: protesting, CATS property tax, Baton Rouge., Danny Johnson, funding, bus, $19 million budget, lawsuit, constitutionality, court system, Ryan Naquin

BATON ROUGE - People are protesting the controversial CATS property tax passed last year by having their taxes saved instead of being given to the bus system.

"People need to take a stand and not just take it," protestor Danny Johnson said.

A lawsuit over the constitutionality of the controversial tax is making its way through the court system. As it does, people who file in protest, have their money put in escrow. It will be returned if the tax is defeated in court.

"You can be taxed out of your home," Johnson said.
Johnson along with more than 550 others have paid their property tax in protest.

"This is public transportation, and I think, too, they should have found a better sufficient way of raising money or adding to the service," Johnson said.

"CATS does not think that the tax to fund the system is unconstitutional and we've taken the position that we have," CATS CEO Bob Mirabito said.

Mirabito believes to create and keep a functioning transit system the tax is a must, and he wants those protesting to get on board.

"If we lose the tax, we're not going to be able to do what we've promised the public that we'd do. I think you'd see this transit system shrink, and, maybe to the point there is no longer transit in Baton Rouge," Mirabito said.

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