Patt Morrison for April 18, 2012

State of the City preview: LA Mayor wants higher sales tax to fund transit

"No Labels" Political Organization Launches As Counterpoint To Tea Party

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks at the launch of the unaffiliated political organization known as No Labels December 13, 2010 at Columbia University in New York City.

Facing his final year in office, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be giving his penultimate State of the City address today at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood and will be using the occasion to promote an indefinite extension of a half-cent sales tax for funding transit projects.

The proposed November ballot Measure R would need to be approved by two-thirds of the county's voters. The extension would keep the Los Angeles County sales tax rate at 9.75%, one of the highest in the nation, but would fund city subway construction and create jobs. Some critics argue the measure would tie up transportation funds for years to come and leave less money for future transit operation, maintenance and other new projects.

WEIGH IN:

Do you support the proposed tax extension? Obviously transportation is an important issue in Los Angeles, but does it deserve more attention than education in the Mayor’s State of the City address?

Guest:

Frank Stoltze, KPCC’s political reporter


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