WEST BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — West Baton Rouge’s school property tax renewal is on the ballot for this upcoming election.

“It’s a very important renewal,” said David Corona, Interim Superintendent of West Baton Rouge Schools.

Corona says this tax is 20 percent of their budget, which amounts to $8.5 million. He says it’s a crucial aspect of maintaining salaries and school safety, such as the hiring of school resource officers and more.

Since in office, Corona has hired six new school resources officers and he hopes to continue upgrading security measures with the renewal.

“It would be very difficult to get pay raises in a time where you are losing 20 percent of your money,” he said.

In March, the tax renewal failed by one vote.

Corona blames that on low turnout and misinformation. He wants to remind people this is not a new tax, there’s no new cost, only a renewal. The tax has been in place for 60 years and is up for renewal every 10 years.

The special tax has been around since 1964.

“We made a lot of progress in 20 years, in terms of properly educating children. We want that to continue and we want it to get better,” Corona said. “You can’t do that if you’re cutting back teachers and staff.”

If the tax fails, Corona says he will have to make major budget cuts.

Early voting will take place from October 25 to the first.

Election day is November 8th.