After more than three hours of public comment and debate at Thursday's MTA Board meeting, the Board of Directors approved placing a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot, pending approval of a companion Assembly bill.
"The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to seek a half-cent-on-the-dollar sales tax increase that could raise $30 billion to $40 billion for transit and highway projects, including the first link of a long-awaited subway to the sea.
The 13-member board's action, approving a ballot measure for the Nov. 4 election, is a major step that could lead to construction of several dozen transportation projects in the county over the next three decades.
Before the measure can be placed on the ballot, the Legislature must authorize it, which Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he is confident will happen soon. A bill, AB 2321, by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) is pending in the Senate.
'This is a historic moment,' Feuer told the MTA board before the vote. 'We know our residents are calling on us to seize this moment. This is an opportunity that won't come again, not for a generation.'"