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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks as U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and state and city officials listen on an industrial street with broken pavement at a news conference with with the Sixth Street bridge in the background on October 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Two Southern California Councilmen have proposed a 20-year property tax increase to generate $3 billion dollars to repair city streets. The measure, billed as the “Los Angeles Emergency Local Street Safety and Traffic Empowerment Act,” will appear on the May 21 ballot and would need a two-thirds majority to pass.
If approved, this tax increase would would fund new construction and eliminate a 60-year backlog of street repairs. The cost to property owners? Around $24 more for a $350,000 home during the first year, increasing to a peak of $120 more in 10 years. Councilman Mitchell Englander said the primary complaint from residents is that poor road conditions are causing damage to cars.
Angelenos may get a bad case of tax fatigue, however; another, separate, half-cent sales tax increase is already on the March 5th ballot, with the majority of those funds dedicated to police and fire services.
Have you ever encountered problems with potholes or other disrepair on city streets? Has your car ever been damaged because of the condition of the streets? Should property owners have to shoulder this burden? Do you think another tax increase is the best way to pay for repairs, or is there a better alternative?
Joe Buscaino, councilman for Los Angeles’ 15th District, which includes San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway and Watts
Richard H. Close, president, Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association