We hope that voters in East Baton Rouge Parish go to the polls today and cast an informed vote on the proposed renewal of two taxes that help fund the East Baton Rouge Parish public school system.
We support the renewal of the two taxes. Up for renewal are a 6.5 mill tax for general operations of the school system and a 7.19 mill tax dedicated to employee salaries and benefits. Together, the two taxes generate $43.3 million a year — about 8 percent of all school system revenue and 11 percent of the money that funds its general operations.
If approved, the taxes would be extended for another 10 years. These ballot items are renewals of existing taxes, not new taxes, so approving them would not raise tax bills for local residents. The taxes amount to a total annual bill of $34.23 for a home assessed at $100,000 that qualifies for homestead exemption. The taxes are now in effect in all parts of East Baton Rouge Parish except for Baker, Central and Zachary, which operate their own public school districts.
Polls open at 7 a.m. today and close at 8 p.m. Officials expect low turnout at the polls today, but we urge voters to exercise their duty and vote.