CATS asking voters to renew property tax mileage to fund mass transit system

Tax renewal for CATS
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Capital Area Transit System (CATS) is asking voters to renew a millage that has helped fund the mass transit system for the last 10 years.

Currently, in Baton Rouge, property owners pay a 10.6 millage, in Baker property owners pay a 9.6 millage. In Baton Rouge, that translates to $106 for every $100,000 your property is appraised for. It would be slightly less for Baker.

According to CATS, if the millage is not renewed, it would struggle to maintain its current operation level, and the 2.9 million rides it reportedly gives each year would be in jeopardy.

“We would have to drastically reduce service to a point where we would wonder if it was worth putting it out there,” said Theo Richards, Business Development Director for CATS. “We’re talking about extended wait times, we’re talking about people not being able to get to work on time, doctor appointments, stuff like that.”

Not everyone is on board with the renewal. Patrick McCarron, a property owner, says he does not think the return on investment is worth it.

“I think they think they’re doing good but it’s really not doing good for the community because the costs far exceed the benefits we’re getting,” McCarron said.

Early voting ends Saturday, Nov. 6. Election Day is Nov. 13.

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