BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Green Light Plan Two gets a red light from voters. "I have to tell you, it was very disappointing,"said Baton Rouge Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel.
Baton Rouge's Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel didn't hold back his frustration on Monday following Saturday's vote. He says the recent flooding made voters uneasy about paying more taxes, and that the city didn't explain the measure well enough. "I think if you go to the polls and you see tax, and you really haven't heard about it or you don't know a lot about it, your first inclination is to vote against it," Daniel said. "So maybe
we could have done a better job of getting the message out on exactly what we were going to do."
Voters said yes to a rededication of the half-cent sales tax increase approved in 2005 for the original Green Light Plan... meaning those funds would be used exclusively for road repairs and enhancement.
But they rejected a 30-year, 5-mill property tax increase... funds that would have been used for new projects.
Both measures had to pass for the plan to be implemented, so the initiative failed.
However, the original green light plan and the half-cent sales tax increase will continue as is, with all projects scheduled to finish by 2030.
Councilman Buddy Amoroso wasn't surprised by the result. He voted against putting the measure on the ballot back in September because he felt it was bad timing following the flood.
But over time he says he realized it was important. "I understood that it was a hard road to hoe,"Amoroso said. "You know, but still we're gonna have transportation needs into the future." A new metro council and mayor are set to take over, so it will be up to them to decide how to move forward.
Amoroso says he wants to work with other council members to develop a new plan that will help Baton Rouge's roads and traffic."We'll have more conversations,"Amoroso said. "We have a new mayor, we have a new council, and again, we will have more conversations into the future about how we can have the best transportation system for the people of Baton Rouge." "I think that what you'll see is certainly another shot at this," Daniel said. "And maybe, we'll have more time to really get our message out and communicate it."
However, there will be no tax elections in 2017... so any kind of similar proposal won't pop up until 2018.