The proposed $989 million bond-financed capital improvement program going to voters in November will save money for the average parish resident, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden said last week.

Holden said the bonds will require an increase in the property tax of about $8.25 for the average home. The $45 million in the package for an improved system of synchronized traffic lights will save the average commuter $14.52 a month in lower gasoline costs, he said at last week’s 20th anniversary luncheon of the Downtown Development District.

“If two members of your household commute, the saving is nearly $350 per year,” Holden said. “If you consider the value of your time, the average commuter will save another $1,200 per year.”

Parish voters will decide in the Nov. 4 general election on Holden’s proposal to increase the parish-wide local sales tax by 0.5% to a total of 5% and raise the parish’s property tax rate by 9.9 mills for 30 years to support the sales tax revenue bonds.

The parish’s sales tax bonds have underlying ratings of A2 from Moody’s Investors Service, and A-plus from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

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