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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Funding public transit in BR

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BATON ROUGE - The Capital Area Transit System has a plan it believes will fund the system into the future.

System board of directors reviewed the initial draft of the 2013 budget at a meeting on Tuesday night.

The budget takes into account revenue in 2012, before a property tax was approved by voters in East Baton Rouge Parish.  The board projects a $15 million operating budget.

Budget breakdown:

$9 million for operating costs

$3 million to payback money borrowed to fund the system fully in 2012

 $3 million for reserves for any other costs

That plan gets the budget to the $12 million needed in previous years to operate.

In 2014 ,CATS expects to have $25 million thanks to the property tax collection in 2013.

"We are still on track to put to use the tax money just like we said we would. We're probably going to have to make some adjustments from the campaign, but there's a real mixed message out there that is coming from all different angles, but as we see it, the board is confident in our abilities to bring about transportation reform that we told everybody about," said Board Member Jared Loftus.

The board returns to the table to make any revisions and ultimately vote on the budget before the end of this year.

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