City to Consider Sales Tax Hike to Raise $4.5B for Street Repairs

By City News Service

Los Angeles’ top budget adviser Tuesday recommended going to voters with a half-cent sales tax hike to pay for street and sidewalk repairs.

The proposed tax hike to 9.5% would be for 15 years and raise about $4.5 billion for the “Save Our Streets” plan being pushed by City Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said it would take an estimated $3.86 billion to fix the “city’s worst streets” and about $640 million to repair the “city’s worst sidewalks.”

The earliest the proposed tax hike could be put on the ballot is this November.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which derives funding from sales tax, also is considering asking voters to pay more, but not until 2016.

Santana’s report, responding to 24 suggestions and instructions gleaned in several public meetings, was prepared at the direction of Buscaino and Englander.

The report, released Tuesday, is being made available at SOSLA.org., and a public briefing on the plan is set for April 2 at City Hall, according to the councilmen.

“Our streets form the backbone of our local transportation system,” they said in a joint statement. “Every visitor, every resident, and every business owner uses our streets and our local economy is dependent upon the ability to move people and goods throughout the city.”

“It is critically important that all stakeholders understand the seriousness and importance of this issue, engage in the conversation, and work cooperatively toward finding a solution,” they said.

Englander and Buscaino said street maintenance had been under-funded from the 1950s until the 1990s, resulting in the deterioration of 8,700 miles of city streets.

The council members initially suggested a bond measure to fund the street repairs, but opponents of the idea said the financial burden of fixing city streets should not be placed solely on property owners.

Santana offered the sale tax alternative, saying it would be more equitable and include taxes from “those who do not live within the city.”

 

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March 20, 2014  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

Comments

One Response to “City to Consider Sales Tax Hike to Raise $4.5B for Street Repairs”

  1. Tommy Norris on March 21st, 2014 8:44 pm

    This is such corruption. It’s like extortion. Intentionally “NOT” fixing sidewalks for years just to force us to approve a half percent sales tax? For 15 Years? That’s a big bucket of LIES. What the heck has the City been doing with all the taxes they ALREADY collect? Including all the PARKING TAXES labeled as parking tickets. We already pay enough taxes. Use the funds properly, and stop extorting the public for more tax dollars. If I intentionally don’t do my job to gouge my employer for more money, I would be fired. I move to fire the administrators of the City of Los Angeles for not doing their job to fix the sidewalks with the money we ALREADY pay. You guys are a bunch of liars who intentionally left sidewalks in disrepair to pander (leverage) for more money. You guys are like a pack of gangsters asking the neighborhood for Sidewalk “Protection Money”.

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