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DVDs are pictured at the Go Go Biblio mobile library outside Baranco Elementary School in Lafayette.

It’s another Election Day in Louisiana, with regular elections scheduled in October having to be postponed by the ravages of Hurricane Ida. While by far the most local elections are in New Orleans for municipal offices, there are four constitutional amendments statewide.

Two major issues are before voters in East Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes. Here are our recommendations in both of them.

Bus transit in Baton Rouge: For.

Renewal of the 10.6-mill property tax that funds most of the operations of the Capital Area Transit System is more essential than ever, after the huge distortions in the labor market caused by the pandemic.

The adjustments for lower-wage workers, so essential during the times when drive-thru eating was de rigeur, will continue for a while. It is hard to forecast what the economy will look like even a year from now, but it is inescapable that Baton Rouge will have traffic problems. CATS’ services, although for a smaller part of the population, are essential for mobility in Baton Rouge and Baker, where the buses run.

With the passage of a new transportation and infrastructure bill in Congress, CATS may be eligible to draw down even more funding in the coming few years.

Libraries in Lafayette: For.

In Lafayette Parish, the library system’s tax base has recently been raided to divert funds to drainage projects. One of several millages supporting the system was not renewed.

This is a case of a community putting dirt as a higher priority than its heads: Libraries are vital to education and social progress, not a nice extra to have.

The millage that is up for renewal generates about $4 million of the more than $11 million the system needs to make ends meet. A second property tax, which is not on the ballot this year, generates more than $6 million a year with the million-dollar annual library budget deficit covered from a diminishing $7 million reserve fund.

Ultimately this is not sustainable, but failure of the current millage would create a crisis that the community does not need. We strongly urge renewal of this vital tax.

Our Views: Renew vital tax to keep workers’ buses rolling