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Commerce Voters Approve Half-Cent Sales Tax

Sixty-seven percent of Commerce voters on Tuesday approved Measure AA; a half-cent sales tax aimed at increasing city revenues to protect services and city jobs.

The preliminary results made available yesterday by the Los Angeles County Department of Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk show that 1,935 of the city’s voters submitted ballots in favor of the measure, while 942 voters (or 32.7 percent) were against the sales tax proposal placed on the ballot by the city council.

The city estimates the sales tax will bring in about $4.5 to $5 million a year, beginning July 1st of 2013, to help fund major services like police and fire, road and sidewalk repairs, maintenance of public facilities, parks, libraries, and other city services.

“That the Measure passed by a significant margin is a clear signal that the community supports public investments which positively impact quality of life in Commerce,” the city said in a press release on Wednesday.

The revenues would help offset $6 million in cuts over the last four years, Mayor Lilia R. Leon said during a series of town hall meetings on the measure held in October.

A citizens’ advisory panel, to be formed in early 2013, will review expenditures of the revenues, according to the city.

Residents and labor leaders previously told EGP they support the sales tax increase especially because of businesses like the Citadel, Commerce Casino, Costco and others that attract consumers to shop and contribute to the city’s sales tax revenue.

Measure AA will remain in effect until rescinded by the Commerce electorate, according to city officials.