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Plans for Half-Cent Sales Tax Move Forward

Los Angeles voters, of course, will have the final say. The proposed tax would equate to about $30 per person every year and $90 for a household.

Los Angeles Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mitchell Englander propose a half-cent sale tax incrase to fund backlogged maintenance of city streets and sidewalks. Patch file photo.
Los Angeles Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mitchell Englander propose a half-cent sale tax incrase to fund backlogged maintenance of city streets and sidewalks. Patch file photo.

Two Los Angeles councilmen are supporting a proposed half-cent sales tax increase as the only way to fund $3.5 billion in backlogged maintenance of city streets and sidewalks.

Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mitchell Englander held a meeting Wednesday night to discuss the proposal, which they contend is the best way to fix Los Angeles' streets.

"We have the worst streets in the country and we are trying to fix that," Buscaino said.

According to the proposal, the tax would equate to about $30 per person every year and $90 for a household. The councilmen said 40 percent will be paid by residents and 60 percent by visitors to the city.

Two-thirds of voters would have to support the tax for it to be enacted. The funds would only be able to be used for streets and sidewalks by law, Englander said.

"It can't be used for any other purpose," Englander said.

The councilmen proposed the Save Our Streets L.A. project last year to fix failed streets and sidewalks throughout the city.

According to the city, about one-third of Los Angeles streets are so badly damaged they are beyond repair and need to be replaced. The disrepair is due to under-funding of street maintenance from the 1950s to the 1990s, leading to the deterioration of 8,700 miles of city streets, according to the Save Our Streets L.A. website.

Motorists pay more than $800 in vehicle maintenance costs stemming from damage caused by poor streets, according to city officials.

Englander said pushing the backlog further down the road only increases the cost.

"There is no plan B," Englander said, adding that the cost has doubled over the past 10 years.

"We've got to get in front of this," he said. "We're already way behind the eight ball."

Opponents of the plan have argued that the levy would push the city's sales tax rate too high.

In the past few weeks, city leaders have also been weighing options to pay for sidewalk repairs.

The council on Friday approved a motion that transfers $250,000 from a discretionary recycling account to fund sidewalk repairs in the 14th district, which includes the cities of Eagle Rock, El Centro, Boyle Heights and parts of downtown.

City Council members are also considering programs to share sidewalk repair costs with property owners.

—City News Service



ruth April 05, 2014 at 03:59 PM
Let them all pay..since they all vote time and time again for issues that will accommodate their big developer funders (i.e. Millennium), the illegal Hollywood Community Plan, recently thrown out be a Judge, and Millennium projects, that the plan accommodated, led by Garcetti, that they all knew full well would bring law suits against the city, risking costing it money that it does not have, ignoring the will of the people, certainly not representing we who pay their salaries, but choosing the developers, that they sold their souls and our city to. I'm sure they can pool their money with their developer boss Millennium, whose projects they have been forking over our tax payer money for, on-going, to fix our streets. Vote NO!
bill miller April 06, 2014 at 02:24 PM
Another costly law suit is the law suit against Millennium and the city. Let sleaze bag Englander pay to fix our streets. He who scoffed at the potentially deadly active earthquake fault line strands evidence under Millennium presented to his Plum Committee.. who disrespectfully flipped through papers, and practically yawned in the face of the attorney who presented it all from Professor Dolan evidence at USC. The Millennium funded Plum Committee Huizar and Englander then approved dangerous potentially deadly Millennium projects on Vine, and passed along to city council where Englander took over leading the meeting from Wesson and again this little nothing, who cannot come close to the intelligence, knowledge, and brilliance, and gentlemanliness of the attorney who again presented this evidence, was disrespectful and patronizing towards the attorney and anything BUT a gentleman. Englander, you don't get paid to yawn in people's faces! O'Farrell led council in a unanimous vote approving the dangerous projects saying they were 'safe" Then when Dr Parrish the state geologist they all chose to ignore, choosing Millennium over people's LIVES, held a press conference at city hall confirming the dangerous projects are sitting on top of an active fault line STRAND, and NO ONE should build there, Englander came out to the press spewing how public safety was so important to him. Seriously? Englander is as corrupt as Garcetti, selling out people's public safety to his campaign funder, Millennium. The costly law suits keep coming their way, they know they are coming, and yet they continue to arrogantly risk them, doing their developer funders bidding every time. Let Englander and those who continue to cost the city all this money, pay to fox our streets! Better yet, instead of THEIR tax increase on the ballot..how about placing RECALLS for all of them on the ballot! Including Garcetti!
Scott Zwartz April 06, 2014 at 03:57 PM
It is another scam. While the money will go into a fund to repair streets, an equal amount of money will got out of the fund to repair funds and then be given to the billionaire developers. Gaarcetti just agve $67 Million in tax dollars to Korean Airlines. Does Korean Airlines need $67 Million of our dollars? The Hollywood-Highland project lost about $1/2 BILLION and Garcetti has yet to account for one cent. How many millions of dollars have gone to Garcetti's best buds at CIM Group? $11 M for Hollywood-we4stern, $6 (?) Million Sunset Gorden, $30 M (guarantee) Hollywood Highland? Has Garcetti asked for the $6 Million back from Hal Katersky for 1601 N Vine? What Garcetti's fund raiser pal, Federal Felon with 4 years at Leavenworth for real estate fraud? How much money has the City lost with that crook's project where Hollywood used to have a SEARS store? In sales tax losses alone with all those stores plus SEARS b eing closed for 5 Years, how many millions have we lost there? How Millions have we lost in sales taxes from the fiasco at the The Metro Complex where there are NO RETAIL stores and it is 12 years later. Things just get worse and worse. The reason we lack sales taxes to fix the roads is that Garcetti gives away our money tax money. Any and all tax increases in Los Angeles have one recipient -- the corrupt developers. One way or an other every cent we have goes to the felons like Garcetti's Juri Ripinsky. What more do Angelenos need to know than that Garcetti's fund raiser did 4 years in Leavenworth for real estate fraud and Garcetti gives him a major project in the heart of Los Angeles. In Hollywood Patch were more than a mouth piece for the City, it would have done a huge story on the FEDERAL FELON AND GARCETTI FUND RAISER JURI RIPINISKY.
emma April 06, 2014 at 06:07 PM
Regarding Eric Garcetti and Millennium..Garcetti recently returned from Washington D.C. with Promise Funds from President Obama. The head of Youth Policy Institute, who helped coordinate the funds going to Hollywood and East Hollywood, is one of the biggest 'bundlers'/ fundraisers for both Obama and Garcetti campaigns. For Garcetti campaigns for many years..The designated Promise Fund Zones are not what you would expect..like South L.A., but rather Hollywood and East Hollywod, coincidentally (??) both areas where Garcetti boss, Millennium's proposed projects are. Millennium now will get big tax breaks and government funding for their Hollywood Cap Park in East Hollywood . Millennium's website and Millennium funded O'Farrell, whom Garcetti has now appointed head of Parks and Rec to assure Millennium Cap Park (above a freeway in earthquake country), goes smoothly, are bragging about this government windfall for Millennium projects. Councilmembers Parks and Price both acted appalled about these funds not going to their needier areas, which was all a 'show' for their disappointed and disgruntled constituents, since BOTH councilmembers most likely knew what Garcetti was up to..Price made a flowery speech the day city council voted to approve Millennium Vine projects, about how good for the area they are, and he did good for his Millennium boss who sat there smiling, as he was supported ($$$$) by them and the Millennium supported Hollywood Chamber for his city council bid. Both councilmembers voted Garcetti/O'Farrell way, supporting Millennium Vine projects and followed O'Farrell's lead to a unanimous vote for Millennium, now on hold due to the dangerous fault line strands underneath building site. If Garcetti can get government funds for his boss Millennium's controversial projects, that are so opposed (Vine St. projects) there are law suits against them, ..why can't he get them to pony up the money to fix our streets? There really needs to be an investigation here ..as there is just too much crooked stuff going on.
ruth April 07, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Promise Funds/Garcetti/Millennium L.A. Times finally covered this controversial fiasco today: Government Promise Funds..L.A. Times.. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-obama-garcetti-promise-zone-20140407,0,6180109,full.story#axzz2yDTeOtYi

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