All tax measures pass on election night

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Not very many voters showed up Saturday night, but those that did overwhelmingly supported the tax measures on the ballot.

Voters approved three sales taxes to fund schools, two property taxes to fund the Saint George Fire Department, and one property tax to fund BRPD.

Most of those are renewals, and Political Analyst Jim Engster says he's not shocked by the results.

"The opposition was understated, there was really no move to thwart the taxes. And in this case, the people who wanted them were the ones most likely to show up," Engster said.

EBR Schools Superintendent Warren Drake was ecstatic Sunday morning. The funds generated by the taxes will contribute to construction projects, and improved technology in schools.

"I think the people of Baton Rouge trust what we're doing," Drake said. "I am so happy for the students and the parents and the employees of this system."

The BRPD tax was approved in the 1950s but was forced on the ballot after the Louisiana Auditor's Office challenged the collection. It contributes around $1.7 million to the department's budget.

Officials with the Saint George Fire Department say funds from their two tax measures will go towards improving facilities.

Also on the ballot was the race for Judge in the 18th Judicial District. Tonya Lurry defeated Tom McCormick by roughly 400 votes. Lurry has worked as an attorney for 17 years.

"I'm looking forward to serving the community," Lurry said. "You know, being there for people, helping the attorneys, we have a great system over here and I just wanna help make it better."

Voter turnout was only 11% Saturday night. Engster says there weren't enough high profile races to garner a lot of attention. However, he doesn't believe this will foreshadow turnout for the mid term elections in November.

"This was an election that's probably one that we just have to judge by itself," Engster said. "When people are actually on the ballot, more people show up."

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.