L.A. Streetcar Gets Go-Ahead from Voters

Voters in downtown Los Angeles have overwhelmingly approved a special property tax to help fund a $125 million streetcar. The results of the special vote-by-mail election were reported last night.
December 4, 2012, 1pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Needing a two-thirds majority to pass, the plan to tax property owners up to $85 million for a streetcar running from the L.A. Live sports and entertainment hub to the Civic Center along the city's historic Broadway core was approved by 73 percent of the 2,066 ballots cast, reports Richard Guzman. 

While not the final piece of the funding puzzle, last night's vote makes an important statement in advance of an impending federal funding request. “Now that the people have spoken, Los Angeles is well on its way to bringing a modern streetcar back to Downtown Los Angeles. With this critically important local funding approved, we will now work closely with our Washington D.C. representatives to advocate for the federal funding needed for construction,” said area Councilmember José Huizar, who has championed the streetcar effort as a centerpiece of his Bringing Back Broadway initiative.

"The average condominium owner would pay about $60 per year," notes Guzman, "with the majority of residential units taxed less than $100 annually. Commercial building owners would pay far higher amounts."

Supporters hope to complete the project by 2016.

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Published on Monday, December 3, 2012 in Los Angeles Downtown News
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