Dig Baton Rouge

Hospitality tax on the ballot Saturday

Every vote counts, and every election has an impact. That’s especially true for the prospects of tourism in East Baton Rouge Parish, which could get a boost from Saturday’s election.

A two percent hotel tax which would help fund Visit Baton Rouge’s efforts to bring in events and help maintain the Raising Cane’s River Center is being put to voters on Nov. 18, a year after it failed in a parish-wide election.

This year’s proposal is more tailored, specifically excluding parts of the city-parish who voted against it last time. Residents of Baker, Central and Zachary and the area inside the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District won’t even see the tax on their ballot, and if approved it would not affect establishments in those areas.

The tax on hotel rooms is expected to raise more than $3.3 million in its first year. Supporters have been calling it “The Tax We Don’t Pay” on ads and signs in the hopes that it will help educate voters on just what the measure entails.

Also on the ballot are a state treasurer runoff, city court judge runoff, and renewals for four different fire protection district millages.

The Advocate has a breakdown of all the races. Polls open at 7 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m. Saturday.

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