Baton Rouge Voters Pass Sales Tax Increase; Voters Have Now Approved $40.89 Billion for Transportation in 2018
December 10, 2018
Voters in Baton Rouge, LA, approved over the weekend a 30-year, half-cent sales tax increase to fund road improvements, bringing the total amount of transportation funding approved at the ballot box in 2018 to $40.89 billion.
The measure, which passed with over 60 percent of the vote, is expected to raise $912 million over 30 years for over 70 projects around the parish, mostly widening roads and synchronizing traffic signals. A study released by the Capital Region Planning Commission – the metropolitan planning organization for the region including Baton Rouge – found that by the year 2032, drivers will save 1.1 million gallons of gasoline and 573 years of time because of the traffic improvements..
The Baton Rouge measure was the final transportation measure on the ballot in 2018. Voters considered 185 transportation-related ballot measures this year, 140 of which were on Election Day. (This does not include the hundreds of routine millage renewals for local road maintenance that were considered in Michigan and Ohio: those pass overwhelmingly and are not additive, so we consider them separately.) Of the 185 measures, 142 of them passed, or 76.8 percent.
In terms of dollar amounts, $70.65 billion for transportation was put before voters this year, $40.89 billion (57.9 percent) of which was approved. The approval rate for 2018 as a whole closely resembles that for Election Day specifically, when $33.35 billion of $57.11 billion (58.4 percent) was approved.
Stay tuned for more analysis from Eno, coming soon now that all of the measures have been decided.