.

Would You Pay an Extra Half-Cent Sales Tax to Fund Street, Sidewalk Repairs?

Los Angeles' top budget adviser today recommended going to voters with a half-cent sales tax hike.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said it would take an estimated $3.86 billion to fix the "city's worst streets" and about $640 million to repair the "city's worst sidewalks." Patch file photo.
City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said it would take an estimated $3.86 billion to fix the "city's worst streets" and about $640 million to repair the "city's worst sidewalks." Patch file photo.

Los Angeles' top budget adviser today recommended going to voters with a half-cent sales tax hike to pay for street and sidewalk repairs.

The proposed tax hike would be for 15 years and raise about $4.5 billion for the "Save Our Streets" plan being pushed by City Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said it would take an estimated $3.86 billion to fix the "city's worst streets" and about $640 million to repair the "city's worst sidewalks."

The earliest the proposed tax hike could be put on the ballot is this November.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which derives funding from sales tax, also is considering asking voters to pay more, but not until 2016.

Santana's report, responding to 24 suggestions and instructions gleaned in several public meetings, was prepared at the direction of Buscaino and Englander.

The report, released today, is being made available at SOSLA.org., and a public briefing on the plan is set for April 2 at City Hall, according to the councilmen.

"Our streets form the backbone of our local transportation system," they said in a joint statement. "Every visitor, every resident, and every business owner uses our streets and our local economy is dependent upon the ability to move people and goods throughout the city."

"It is critically important that all stakeholders understand the seriousness and importance of this issue, engage in the conversation, and work cooperatively toward finding a solution," they said.

Englander and Buscaino said street maintenance had been under-funded from 1950s the until the 1990s, resulting in the deterioration of 8,700 miles of city streets.

The council members initially suggested a bond measure to fund the street repairs, but opponents of the idea said the financial burden of fixing city streets should not be placed solely on property owners.

Santana offered the sale tax alternative, saying it would be more equitable and include taxes from "those who do not live within the city."

--City News Service

ARE YOU GAME? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS

Jo March 19, 2014 at 09:57 PM
When we complained to Mitch Englander that the parkways and sidewalks are disgraceful along our major streets such as Tampa and Devonshire we were told we should try to enforce the law 56.08 requiring those adjacent owners to clean up those blighted messes so we delivered hundreds of Did You Know letters to no avail...still looking like a 3rd world country along our major streets. We were told WE should try to enforce the City's law because they laid off all their enforcement staff except one guy named Charles Boyd for the Valley and he does dozens of other things so he doesn't enforce LAMC 56.08. We were told WE should enforce the law by hand delivering DYK letters or WE should clean up our violating neighbors' parkways & sidewalks. We have been doing BOTH of these things...You see us every Thursday for FOUR years now cleaning the law breakers' messy parkways...mowing their weeds, trimming their trees, sweeping their sidewalks. AND, also every Thursday for FOUR YEARS we have been putting out orange cones and doing the City's street sweeping along Wilbur, Chatsworth, Tampa, Devonshire, Corbin, etc. DISGRACEFUL is all I can say. And, after I organized these Thursday volunteers, now I feel bad for them because I hate LA City so much that I am moving out of the state to a low tax state, Pennsylvania...no taxes on any form of pensions, SS, mandatory IRA withdrawals at 70, low sales taxes, low gas taxes, the best schools in the entire nation, and best of all beautiful parkways and medians...Yep, I couldn't take it any more. The good citizens will move away, and the people that don't give a rip will stay. I'm too tired to fight City Hall any more, they don't care, their priorities are the union campaign donations, that is #1 for them, not our services. Sign up to receive City Watch so you know what's going on. Read Jack Humphreyville's articles for the City's financial details, very scarey as LA heads toward HALF of the budget being consumed by pensions & retiree benefits.
CYNTHIA PRICE March 21, 2014 at 02:14 AM
The $$s our officials say they need is a flat out lie. 1. We have current City employees on the payroll who can cheaply fix potholes and sidewalks (cement is dirt cheap) and if they don't have enough employees, we can hire 10 full time employees to fix the streets & buy the cement for a few million; instead of the 1 billion going to a private contractor who will profit.....well if you do the numbers...about a Billion; minus the few million it will actually cost. Would like to see the city's estimate of $ per sq foot to fix a pothole or street. Should be between $10-$30 psf depending on depth/difficulty.
Jo March 21, 2014 at 09:11 PM
Recent survey says 55% of voters will vote NO to this sale tax increase. Sales taxes are lower in other states. Read this article about this subject on City Watch: http://citywatchla.com/lead-stories-hidden/6624-say-no-to-the-city-s-4-5-billion-tax-there-are-better-ways-to-fix-la-s-streets

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »