Mayor-President Kip Holden is making another attempt to convince the Metro Council to pass his $748 million tax proposal, which would send it to voters this November.
A week after the Metro Council voted 9-3 to delete the tax proposal from its agenda, Holden has placed it back onto the Aug. 10 agenda.
“I want the chance to do what we were denied last time,” he said. “To present it to the people.”
Aug. 10 is the last scheduled Metro Council meeting before the deadline to submit November election items to the State Bond Commission for approval.
On July 27, the Metro Council deleted the item from the agenda’s list of introductions, which did not allow for formal discussion of the proposal.
Items are introduced, as a formality, two weeks before they’re voted on. But Holden did not have to formally introduce the tax proposal.
This time, since the tax proposal is an agenda item, the Metro Council will have to allow the public and the mayor to speak.
Holden said he will try to meet with council members and address their concerns about his proposal.
“We’ll see what questions we can answer for them in the hopes of trying to forge at least a coalition of seven (council members) who will say let’s send this to the people,” he said.
On July 27, only Council members C. Denise Marcelle, Tara Wicker and Joel Boé voted against deleting the tax proposal from the agenda.
Holden needs seven votes to send it to voters.
Holden said he just wants the opportunity to be able to make his case before the council.
“As long as I have made the case for why we are seeking this funding for the bond issue then I’m satisfied,” he said. “Then I’ll have done the job as I felt the people expect me to do as mayor.”
This is Holden’s third attempt at a capital improvements tax package.
The proposal, for the first time, would allow voters to choose from three components: public safety, infrastructure improvements and economic development.
Voters have already rejected similar proposals: a $901 million bond issue in 2009 and a $989 million bond issue in 2008.
The $748 million package will rely on the issuance of 30-year bonds.
It calls for a three-quarter cent sales tax increase and 2.9 mills of property taxes in total.