Taxpayers will decide if they want to pay for Green Light Plan 2 in December

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The city of Baton Rouge is touting the first 10 years of the Green Light Plan as a success and now, they want to put more money into it.

The project was approved by voters in 2005 increasing the sales tax by a half a cent, with the additional funds going towards road improvements.

Steve Bonnette, the director of Transportation and Drainage for the city, said the expansion of the Central Thruway was one of the city's greatest accomplishments under the plan.

"We believe we have a proven record since 2005, that we're doing what we said we were going to do," Bonnette said. "That these are the projects that we're going to build. That this is what we're going to do with this money, and we've done that."

Now, the city wants to speed up the project with what they're calling Green Light Plan 2.

Voters will get to decide whether or not they want to raise property taxes with a new parish-wide 5-mill property tax for 30 years to fund new roads and improvements for roads like Nicholson Drive, Tiger Bend Road, and Bluebonnet Boulevard.

It would cost taxpayers around $12.50 more a year for a home worth $100,000, and around $62.50 for a home worth $200,000.

Bonnette said officials are concerned that voters will be hesitant to approve a property tax increase following the recent flooding.

"They absolutely could be hesitant and we understand that and we appreciate that. I think for a lot of folks it really is a value judgment on whether they can invest in this type of program," Bonnette said.

With the new millage proposal, city officials are also asking voters to decide on whether to redirect the current half-cent sales tax toward street rehabilitation and road enhancement projects such as pedestrian and bicycle safety features.

However, the current half-cent sales tax increase will stay whether or not Green Light Plan 2 passes and will not expire until 2030.

The city said road improvements will get done whether or not the measure passes but at a much slower pace.

There will be 10 meetings held until voters head to the polls on December 10. At the meetings, city officials will answer questions from the public concerning Green Light Plan 2.

Below is the full list of the meetings:

Tuesday, November 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Council District 1
Zachary Branch Library
1900 Church Street, Zachary

Wednesday, November 16 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Council District 4
Central Branch Library
11260 Joor Road

Thursday, November 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Council Districts 8 & 9
Jones Creek Branch Library
6222 Jones Creek Road

Tuesday, November 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Council District 11
Main Library
7711 Goodwood Blvd.

Wednesday, November 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Council District 5
Charles R. Kelly Community Center
3535 Riley Street

Thursday, December 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Council District 10
Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center
950 Washington E. Street

Monday, December 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Council Districts 12 & 3
Bluebonnet Branch Library
9200 Bluebonnet Blvd.

Tuesday, December 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Council Districts 6 & 7
Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center
4000 Gus Young Avenue

Thursday, December 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Council District 2
Scotlandville Branch Library
7373 Scenic Highway

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