$120 Billion Transportation Bond May Be Headed to Los Angeles County Voters

The transit and road measure, based on extending and increasing half-cent sales taxes, would fund a massive amount of light rail, bus, and road measures, including building a Sepulveda Pass tunnel which would accommodate a toll road and rail line.
March 16, 2016, 10am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"[Los Angeles] Metro's board of directors will vote in June whether to place the measure on the November ballot," reports Laura J. Nelson, who writes about transportation and mobility at the Los Angeles Times.

The ballot measure would extend an existing half-cent sales tax for two more decades, and raise the county's sales tax rate by an additional half-cent for four decades or longer. The measure, which needs a two-thirds majority to pass, would boost Los Angeles County's base sales tax rate to 9.5%.

The two-thirds requirement stems from the 1978 landmark taxpayers initiative known as Prop 13. "Reducing the voter-approval threshold from two-thirds to 55% would not only ensure that locals could more easily raise funds for badly needed infrastructure, it could make those measures more effective by not having to please everyone and their mother," writes Ethan Elkind in a related piece.

"The cornerstone of the new proposal is the Sepulveda Pass tunnel, which would link the San Fernando Valley and the Westside," writes Nelson. "Early estimates place the price tag at $7 billion to $9.5 billion."

credit: LA Metro

"As envisioned, the plan would funnel about one-third of the $120 billion into full or partial funding for five new transit lines and at least six extensions of lines that are already built or under construction, Metro officials said," writes Nelson. Among the eight additional projects she lists are:

Metro officials "spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly," notes Nelson.

Hat tip to Paul Scott, whose letter to the editor appears here.

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Published on Friday, March 11, 2016 in Los Angeles Times
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