BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The new East Baton Rouge Parish budget is bigger than the last one.
Mayor-President Kip Holden unveiled his proposal Thursday at City Hall, and he believes the city-parish is on the right track to grow.
"Economic growth looks very bright for our region," said Mayor Holden. "Local economists have projected that more than 15,000 new jobs will be added in the capital region over the next two years."
The $880 million spending plan is up $50 million from the budget a year ago.
Included is over $20 million, more than twice the amount for last year, to go toward capital projects including a plan that could build the long talked about Baton Rouge loop.
There's also $13 million in the budget to go toward parish employee salaries and pay raises.
"Our commitment to quality of life remains strong," said Mayor Holden.
Agreeing with the mayor, Metro Coucilman John Delgado says a bigger budget is a another big sign of the parish doing well, and not at the expense of taxpayers paying new fees.
"It is important to know that there are no new taxes in this budget," said Delgado. "We're seeing increased sales tax revenue, we're seeing increased property tax revenues. So the city is growing, and the budget grows along with it."
Making his case for a brighter future, the mayor spoke proudly of the year behind, referencing 800 new jobs created by IBM coming downtown and a record breaking year for Bayou Country Superfest.
"This year's event brought over 125,000 fans together, setting a record hotel booking over Memorial Day Weekend," said the mayor.
The Council will take up the budget in the coming weeks.