South Louisiana voters pronounced several new tax proposals Dead On Arrival this weekend. Voters in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles voted down proposals aimed at funding new development. In Baton Rouge, voters defeated a capital improvement tax package for the second time in the past two years. The $901 million package, to fund a new jail, traffic light improvements and downtown development, was voted down 64 percent to 36 percent. An analysis in today's Advocate shows the votes fell largely along racial lines, with white, suburban voters overwhelminly opposed to the plan.
In Lake Charles, three of four tax proposals failed, including a millage to be dedicated to the District Attorney's office and two tax increases from the police jury for capital improvements throughout the parish. The only millage to pass was a tax renewal dedicated to the sheriff's office. Sheriff Tony Mancuso also pledged that if renewed, he would roll the millage back from 7.58 to 4.39, in effect lowering taxes.