The Metro Council voted 8-2 Wednesday against sending Mayor-President Kip Holden’s $748 million capital improvements tax package to East Baton Rouge Parish voters.
Councilwomen Tara Wicker and C. Denise Marcelle cast the two votes in favor of sending the tax and bond plan to voters in November.
Voting against sending the tax proposal to voters were council members Mike Walker; Trae Welch; Scott Wilson; Ronnie Edwards; Alison Gary; Ulysses “Bones” Addison; Donna Collins-Lewis; and Rodney “Smokie” Bourgeois.
Council members Chandler Loupe and Joel Boé were absent from the meeting.
Holden needed seven of 12 council votes.
This is Holden’s third attempt at passing a tax and bond issue since 2008.
The most recent proposal was to be divided, for the first time, into three components for voters to choose from: $298 million for public safety, $418 million for infrastructure improvements, and $32 million for economic develop upgrades that amounted to the expansion of the Baton Rouge River Center.
The package in total would have cost tax payers 2.9 mills of property tax and a three-quarters of a cent sales tax increase. After two years, one-quarter cent of the sales tax would have elapsed.
Wednesday’s vote comes just two weeks after the council attempted to kill the tax plan by voting 9-3 to delete it from the council’s agenda for introduction.
Holden placed it back on the agenda for reconsideration.
Wednesday’s meeting was the last regular council meeting before the deadline to ask the State Bond Commission to place items on the November ballot.