The capital improvements tax package Mayor-President Kip Holden is presenting to the Metro Council has some slight changes from what he originally proposed last month.
Most notably, the overall burden on taxpayers was reduced from 3.15 mills of property taxes to 2.9 mills.
The overall sales tax remains at three-quarters of a cent.
The city of Baton Rouge, Zachary and unincorporated areas have 9 percent sales tax rates. Sales taxes in Baker and Central are 9.5 percent.
Holden’s proposal will be introduced Wednesday at the Metro Council meeting, a necessary step before the item makes its way to the council’s finance and executive committee for vetting and then back to the full council.
The council is expected to vote on Aug. 10 whether to place the proposal on the Nov. 19 ballot.
The mayor’s $748 million proposal has been split into three components, which voters could choose separately:
• Public safety — construction of a new parish prison, a juvenile services facility and a public safety complex to house the headquarters for city police and the Sheriff’s Office. Under the latest revision, this component would cost taxpayers a quarter-cent in sales taxes and 0.85 mills in property taxes.
•Infrastructure — construction of a downtown parking garage, City Hall consolidation, bridge repairs and replacements, drainage improvements, and traffic signal synchronization. This largest component of the mayor’s proposal would cost taxpayers another quarter-cent sales tax and 2.05 mill-property tax.
• Economic development — expansion of the Baton Rouge River Center. This component would be funded through a quarter-cent sales tax.
The latest changes stem from a change suggested by Councilman Joel Boé, who requested the mayor move the $52 million City Hall renovation from the public safety component and into the infrastructure component.
The shift affects the property taxes proposed for both those components.
The economic development component originally was introduced with a 0.25-mill property tax attached, but city-parish Finance Director Marsha Hanlon said she later determined a sales tax alone would be sufficient.
The proposed economic development sales tax is expected to lapse within two years, as opposed to the five years in the original proposal.
The public safety and infrastructure components would require 30-year bonds that are expected to be paid off within 20 years from the revenues of the proposed sales and property taxes, Holden has said.