County supervisor has "serious reservations" about extending Measure R

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hopes voters agree to extend Measure R, a half-cent sales tax for transit projects, later this year. One county supervisor, however, questions why that must be done now.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hopes voters agree to extend Measure R, a half-cent sales tax for transit projects, later this year. One county supervisor, however, questions why that must be done now. David McNew/Getty Images

On the eve of the Metro Board of Directors’ vote on whether to support a state bill that would eliminate the sunset date of Measure R, one Los Angeles County supervisor today made it clear he has "serious reservations" about the proposal.

Measure R is a half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is pushing for a November vote to extend that sales tax indefinitely. Right now, the tax is scheduled to end in 2039.

The Metro board is expected to vote tomorrow on a recommendation to support AB 1446, a bill from Assemblyman Mike Feuer that would remove the sunset date and authorize an extension to be placed on the November ballot.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who sits on the Metro board, issued a lengthy statement this evening, questioning the timing of a tax extension.

“What matters here are urgent? Why are we in such haste to alter our compact? What is the rationale for attempting to establish sales tax in perpetuity during a time of such economic uncertainty?” Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.

It was just a week ago that county Supervisor Mike Antonovich, also a Metro board member, likened the 2008 passage of Measure R to a “gang rape.”

The Metro Board of Directors will meet tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

blog comments powered by Disqus