$120 Billion Transportation Bond May Be Headed to Los Angeles County Voters
"[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.
"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:
- West Santa Ana Transit Corridor
- A further extension eastward of the foothill portion of the Gold Line
- One or more extensions of the Eastside Gold Line
- The final leg of the Wilshire Boulevard subway (Metro Purple Line Subway Extension)
Metro officials "spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly," notes Nelson.