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Central citizens concerned with Broome's road tax plan

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CENTRAL - While addressing the Press Club on Monday, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome answered questions concerning the fairness of her road tax plan.

"Every part of our parish will be touched," the mayor said.

Broome's 'MoveBR' initiative would be paid for by a half-cent sales tax, generating $40 million per year over the span of 30 years. The Metro Council rejected the mayor's first traffic project that would have been funded by a property tax increase.

Tax payers in the city of Central will have to pay to fix roads in the entire parish of East Baton Rouge, but will only get about 10 percent of the funding.

"I would like to see more dollars spent here in Central, and a better state match especially on the Hooper Road extension," said Central City Council candidate Aaron McKinney. 

Hooper and Wax Road will be extended into four lanes, both of which are state roads. However, the parish claims the state doesn't have money to fix the roadways.

"What we need to do is ask the state for funding to fix the roads that is created mainly from flow-through traffic from Livingston Parish," said McKinney. 

Central's current and future mayors are on board.

"I have never supported a tax in my life, but we are now crossroads in East Baton Rouge Parish where we must make a decision," said Mayor Junior Shelton. "We can continue to gripe and we continue to shoot down taxes that will help solve the problems, or we can vote for this tax and get the parish moving again."

According to the city's transportation and drainage director, Fred Raiford, he and the mayor will be meeting with Central city officials Tuesday morning to address any concerns.

'MoveBR' also aims to construct more sidewalks and traffic light synchronization.

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