Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Members of the Los Angeles City Council say more public input is needed before a $3 billion bond proposal is sent to voters. A bond backed by Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino would have been dedicated to road repairs.
A proposed $3 billion bond to repair Los Angeles streets failed to win enough support from the City Council Tuesday and will not appear on the May ballot.
The proposal from councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino was referred back to the Public Works Committee. The two men expect it to appear on a ballot in a year or two.
“If we want to remain a world class city and attract new businesses and jobs," said Buscaino, "it is vital that we demonstrate Los Angeles is a city of the future and not a crumbling relic of the past. Our streets are one of the most visible and important components of our infrastructure, and there is no question that they are in poor condition and must be repaired.”
There may not be a question about road conditions in L.A., but several city council members expressed concern that the bond was being rushed to the May 21 ballot. The bond proposal would have provided enough money to fix thousands of miles of failing streets over a 10-year period, but it would have taken property owners almost 30 years to pay off the bond. The annual cost of the proposal would have varied, but property owners would have paid, on average, an extra $100 a year.
Under the bond proposal, the average Los Angeles property owner would pay $99 a year more over a 20-year period to resurface and reconstruct 8,500 lane miles throughout the city.
Los Angeles property owners would pay more on their tax bills for road repairs under a bond proposal that will be considered by the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday.
Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino are backing a 20-year, $3 billion bond that would repair 8,700 lane miles of failing roads through the city – both residential streets and main thoroughfares. Low interest rates are part of the motivation for seeking funding that would address decades of neglect along L.A.’s streets.
“Roads have been neglected for 50 or 60 years and not been properly maintained," Englander said. "The fact is, what are we going to do now to put Los Angeles back on the map?”
The program would likely cost property owners an extra $99 per $350,000 of assessed value annually for a 20-year period. In the first year, that figure could be as low as $24. The city's budget office is still calculating the expected costs.