Measure R extension designated as Measure J on November 6 ballot

The Los Angeles County Registrar on Friday officially approved the Measure J title to the Metro-sponsored ballot measure asking county voters to extend the Measure R half-cent sales tax for 30 years – from mid-2039 to mid-2069. Here’s the ballot language that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot:

Accelerating Traffic Relief, Job Creation.
To advance Los Angeles County’s traffic relief, economic growth/ job creation, by accelerating construction of light rail/ subway/ airport connections within five years not twenty; funding countywide freeway traffic flow/ safety /bridge improvements, pothole repair; keeping senior/ student/ disabled fares low; Shall Los Angeles County’s voter-approved one-half cent traffic relief sales tax continue, without tax rate increase, for another 30 years or until voters decide to end it, with audits/ keeping funds local?

34 replies

  1. Sorry, unless the Valley gets underground or elevated rail traffic, unless the Valley gets direct metro rail access to the west side, beach, and airport, and unless the Valley gets direct rail through Pasadena, I’ll be voting a big fat NO on measure J.

  2. Under current plans, six Measure R plans would not have been complete until the late 2020s or 2030s but now may be accelerated. The projects are:

    •The Westside Subway Extension to Westwood

    •The Eastside Gold Line Extension to South El Monte or Whittier

    •The Metro Connector to LAX

    •The Green Line South Bay Extension to Torrance

    •The West Santa Ana Branch Corridor project

    •The Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project

    In addition, a Measure R extension would help fund the Regional Connector, which is currently planned for a 2019 completion.

  3. I was under the impression that the valley did not want rail via the Orange Line. The Red Line may someday be extended to Bob hope Airport, but that’s not a lot of service. Then there would be the 405 median (which could be ideal to connect to Purple and Expo extensions and even continue to connect with the Green Line, Crenshaw Line, LAX, the Blue Line, and Long Beach Airport. Perhpas even Orange County could get involved and rail could continue at least to John Wayne Airport — there would be logical stops along thw way like Bela Terra, Westminster Mall and South Coast Plaza/Metro Pointe.), but with all the work on the Sepulveda Pass corridor, rail doesn’t seem to be in the picture.

  4. @Kenzbeard: Thats a tall order.

    If I am not mistaken the Valley has had ample amounts of opportunities to have rail built. I think unfortunately residence from 20 years ago had laws passed that would not allow new rail to be built; much like the Wilshire law that was once in place. Also, the overall benefit would alleviate traffic in The Valley. Less cars in Downtown L.A., along the 10, 101, and 405 will benefit the people over the hill very much (Im sure folks from the Valley like coming downtown hint hint Park and Ride). If i’m not mistaken, they are actually seeing more people from The Valley ride Expo than they previously had thought. So in a nutshell, to not vote for J because it does not service “your area” is the type of thinking that has put us so far behind in the first place. However, in actuallity there are some pretty decent projects over there for the lack of density.

  5. Eventually, I’d imagine when Metro grows to a full functioning adult, the titles of “The Valley” and “The Basin” may fade and we will be LOS ANGELES! Hopefully.

  6. 15% of the Measure R half cent sales tax is given to each of the 88 cities in the county for local transportation improvements. Over the 60 year period of time that this half cent sales tax would be in place under Measure J, the city of Los Angeles would receive at least $4.44 billion in local returns.

    If Los Angeles borrowed against these future funds, then the city could have money to make most of the estimated $1.6 billion in repairs to the 42% of sidewalks that are in poor condition. These funds could also substantially reduce the estimated $2.63 billion in resurfacing needed for the 38% of roads that are in D or F condition.

    The bureau of street services estimates that it cost 5-7 times more money to repair a road once it has reached a failed state, so putting off needed maintenance can cost much more compared to borrowing money to repair them. Measure R has provided enough local funding to prevent the streets from deteriorating further in Los Angeles.

    The bureau also has stated that it costs 50% less to maintain roads that are good shape compared to average or poor condition. There are also increased costs from wear and tear on vehicles to consider. Borrowing against these future funds would cost each taxpayer less than if these repairs were put off. The local funds alone make Measure J a terrific investment for the taxpayers of the county of Los Angeles.

  7. Rail is an option for the Sepulveda Pass…come visit us at Sepulveda Pass Subway on Facebook so we can have a smooth 6 minute ride from Sherman Oaks to Westwood, with further extensions North to San Fernando and South to the Expo Line and LAX!

  8. “Over the 60 year period of time that this half cent sales tax would be in place under Measure J, the city of Los Angeles would receive at least $4.44 billion in local returns.”

    I’d like to know how LA made those projections. A lot of what LA claims to say have always been way off the mark. Look at how much a tax waste Ontario Airport was. A huge airport spent with so much tax dollars thought to bring in lots of air traffic, yet they all still use LAX instead. Makes sense really, why would anyone want to drive out all the way to Ontario just to catch a plane?

  9. NO on MEASURE J!! You’ve had your chance with our tax dollars, Metro, and since you wisely decided to blow at least $37 million dollars of it on a consulting group who thought it would be a great idea to destroy West Pasadena in the name of the “710 gap”, I say enough. Your coffers will not be replenished. You waste money on ridiculous ideas rather than repairs of roads or the maintenance of what’s already been built.

  10. The first comment said it perfectly. There is no excuse for taxing billions and building rail through low density parts of the county while giving nearly nothing to the people in the northern part of the city. A slow bus lane that is already over capacity counts as nearly nothing when you consider the need. The other two planned bus lanes (east San Fernando valley and sepulveda pass transit corridors) are going to be just as slow and just as inadequate.

    As for directly giving funds to the south, east, and west and saying that indirectly helps the north, we appreciate the trickle-down economic theory but we rather just keep our dollars at home in the first place. We are willing to spend for what we need, we aren’t willing to pay for nothing. NO ON MEASURE J!

  11. Does anyone know how much Measure J will cost each person to extend another 30 years? Is it like only $20 a year per person in the County? If so… I wish it could just be implemented without a voter referendum. Anyone who votes ‘No’ just has no idea what they are saying.

    • Hi Nick;

      It depends on what a person spends over that time span. And, as you know, it’s hard to predict a person’s spending habits because they can fluctuate year to year depending on whether a person buys something big — and if they purchase it in L.A. County. What I can tell you is that a half-penny sales tax comes out to $5 for every thousand dollars spent, $25 for every $5,000 spent or $50 for every $10,000 spent.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  12. Nick,

    No it cannot be derived that “it’s probably $20 per person per year” because it’s based on sales taxes and you cannot give out an estimated figure based on the purchasing patterns from person to person.

    And no we cannot just implement this without voters. As much as you hate, we’re a still a democracy and we do not let government pass taxes on their own whim. That is what our founding fathers had fought for when the British tried to levy taxes without input.

    If you don’t like democracy, feel free to move to North Korea. I’m sure you’ll like it there where the government knows best right?

  13. Nick,

    Increasing sales taxes only tends to hurt local revenues than it means to help. People tend to buy things more locally when taxes are cheaper.

    Just look at how a lot of people are turning to buying things in a different county where the tax rate is 1% cheaper on big priced items. When you’re buying something big like a $25,000 car, you end up saving $250 by going to a car dealership in Orange County (7.75% sales tax) than in LA County (8.75% sales tax). Even counting the fuel cost to get to the dealership in OC, you still end up ahead than buying it from a dealership based in LA County.

    And for those that live near the LA-OC county lines, guess where they’re going to do most of their purchases at? If you live in Whittier, people are better off going to a Target or BestBuy over in La Habra.

    Add that now we have the ability to buy things over the internet, it further creates less revenues on local governments. You can buy a laptop at BestBuy in LA County which adds a 8.75% tax rate, or you can buy one on which levies no sales taxes and comes with free shipping. Guess where people are going to shifting their purchases to? And no, people are not going to be for taxing the internet.

    In reality, taxes end up not helping as much as people like to think they do.

  14. In my previous post I stated that the local 15% return on the half cent Measure R funds would be at least $4.4 billion over a 60 year period of time for Los Angeles. This is how I came up with that number:

    Under Measure R, the amount of sales tax taken in over its thirty years llifespan is estimated to be $40 billion.

    If you simply double that amount of money for the 30 year extension of the Measure R sales tax under Measure J (which is greatly underestimating the potential amount of money received over its lifespan), then the total is $80 billion.

    There are 10 million people in the county and Los Angeles is about 37% of that total.

    If you divide the 15% local sales tax proportionately to each city by their current populations, then the city of Los Angeles would get at least $4.44 billion over that sixty-year period of time. Which is more than the estimated $4.23 billion that would be needed to repair the 42% of sidewalks that are in need or repair and the 38% of roads that are in a D or F condition.

    An argument against borrowing on future local sales tax returns is that it would be saddling future generations with debt and no money to pay for maintaining the infrastructure. The truth is that continuing to allow the infrastructure to deteriorate will in itself produce a dismal outlook for the future of Los Angeles with road conditions that cost 50% more to maintain and 5-7 times more if they go into a failure state. Making an investment in these much needed repairs now, while the city is in a deep recession, will help to stimulate the local economy. It will also make the city more attractive as a place to live and do business, plus it will reduce the wear and tear on vehicles while also increasing the mpg.

  15. I wonder which area generates the highest sales tax revenue in Los Angeles County? Which area is the economic powerhouse when it comes to sales. I’d also wonder which area has the lowest? This would show who deserves what, and what should be built where and why.

  16. There are other ways to find new revenue sources for mass transit than just continuing to burdening people and our children with more taxes. Just look at how transit agencies around the world are able to operate without resorting to taxes and learn from what they are doing.

    What is it that we’re doing wrong with poor farebox recovery ratios that we need to support it with over 70% of the cost of operations to be funded with tax dollars? What is it that they’re doing right where they can recuperate over 100% of their operations just on farebox? What can we do to shift our mass transit operations to be fully recoverable on its own so we can instead, focus tax dollars towards something more important like education?

    Is it so hard to learn from others? Is it so difficult to just do what other countries that have successful transit systems are doing?

    The American exceptionalism runs so deep that even the most hardcore supporters of mass transit don’t want to do things like how other countries run their mass transit. No matter how pro-transit they say they may be, deep down inside, they’re still the same backward Americans who loves using Fahrenheit over Celsius, who sticks to using miles over kilometers, and sticks to thinking flat rate makes economic sense than distance based.

  17. Transit Rider,

    Too bad that that’s not how taxes work. Taxes do not get appropriated based on population or how much who pays the most. Taxes are appropriated with what you guys have been saying for a long time: “more taxes for the rich, give more to the poor.”

    Well, that’s exactly what we do. Take a look at how our federal taxes are collected and spent. California (a “rich” state) gets back only 78 cents for every $1 put toward taxes. In sharp contrast, New Mexico and Mississippi (two “poor” states) tops the list with getting back over $2.00 for every $1 they put into the federal tax system.

    California is a rich state, we’re bound by duty to help poor states like New Mexico and Mississippi. We don’t mind that for every $1 we put in, 22 cents of that goes to help fund the Los Alamos National Laboratory or help the mess caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Same thing within the state level with state taxes. LA is the most populous and we pay the most, yet we end up getting little back. Most of our dollars that we put into the state in turn, goes to fund things like making water dirt cheap for farmers in Central California or funding those agricultural checkpoints that we see when come back from Vegas. But it’s our duty as a rich city to help the poor farmers and create jobs in the middle of nowhere right?

    But that’s what you guys want right? The rich should give more to the poor.

  18. While it is true that a tax on any activity not only generates money for the government as it also discourages the activity. It is also true that without adequate revenue, transportation infrastructure in poor condition could cost people much more money than the amount of tax needed to repair it.

    The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) estimates that Measure J would cost each resident an average of $25 annually. Compare that to the increased wear and tear on cars, commerical trucks and buses that drive on poorly maintained roads. There is also decreased fuel mileage with vehicle tires wasting energy bouncing up and down on roads in poor condition, rather than more efficiently rolling forward on a smooth road. Increased risk of collisions and injuries due to crumbling roads also raises the odds of publicly funded paramedics having to transit people to medical facilities.

  19. There is not enough motor fuel tax coming in to keep the roads in good condition. The federal tax per gallon of gasoline is the same as it was in 1993 and the state tax hasn’t gone up since 1994. Since then, the retail price has more than tripled.

    It will cost owners of vehicles in Los Angeles much less annually to have Measure J passed than to keep driving on poorly maintained roads which greatly increases the wear and tear on vehicles, decreases fuel mileage and increases the costs that are due to the city having to send paramedics to help people with injuries caused by poorly maintained roads.

    Only 15% of the half cent Measure J sales tax would go to each city for repairs to roads. Yet, even at this small pittance set aside for road repairs, the tax paid would be much lower than what people now pay as a consequence of driving on poorly maintained roads.

  20. @Realist Angelino, of course it would be non applicable, but would be a good piece of information to see.

  21. Dennis,

    Raising federal gas taxes don’t necessarily translate to increase revenue. There’s also the unintended effect of reducing gas revenues even further.

    If you raise federal gas prices from 13 cents per gallon to 25 cents per gallon, what will prices be like at the pump? Will people continue to drive SUVs, or will some trade it in for a more fuel efficient hybrid? Will people continue to drive their V6s or will some go electric? Will people continue to drive Fords, Chryslers, GMs, Toyotas, Nissans, and Hondas (automotive) or will some begin to consider their next vehicle to be a Harley Davidsons, Buddys, Vespas, Kawasakis, Yamahas, or Hondas (motorcycles)?

    And the trend seems to be, many people are downsizing from cars to two wheeled vehicles as gas prices stay at current levels.,0,5271588.column

    If you raise the federal gas tax on top of today’s gas prices, whose to say that only drives more demand to persuade people off of gas powered cars to alternative vehicles?

    All these translate to less gas consumption = less tax revenues.

    If a car driver spends filling up 10 gallon a week at current gas tax leves, that translates to $1.30 into the federal system.

    Raise federal gas taxes to 25 cents some may cling on to their love affair with gas guzzling cars. But, there will be some who will begin to say screw this, I’m downsizing to a scooter. It ends up needing only a gallon of gas per week because of it’s great fuel efficiency. What does the fed get? Only a quarter when they would’ve been better off collecting $1.30 from this person.

  22. Realist Angelino,

    For several decades, the taxes on motor fuel have not kept up with the increasing costs of maintaining roads and highways (these taxes are not indexed for inflation). Many people tend to resist paying taxes of any kind, but in this instance a small increase in taxes can lower the much greater amount of money spent annually on vehicles by virtue of lowering maintenance costs.

    You could buy a gallon of gasoline in 1980 for $1.25 and the price has more than tripled since then, yet the average curb weight of vehicles increased by 26%, horsepower doubled, while fuel economy rose by only 15%. The large jump in the price of fuel in this time period did not cause most people to buy smaller, more efficient vehicles. In fact it was quite the opposite, they bought much more powerful and bigger vehicles instead of going for fuel efficiency.

    Larger vehicles not only tend to have lower fuel mileage, they also cause the roads to deteriorate faster; create more serious injuries to those they hit in collisions and are more likely to get in a collision when driven by virtue of having a larger mass that is more difficult to control.

    Not only will an extension of the Measure R half-cent sales tax create a lower overall annual expenditure for vehicle owners, but the city will get transit rail lines built within 10 years instead of 30.

    Another bonus of having the extension pass is that bike lanes can be built faster and at a lower cost as the striping can be done when the streets are resurfaced, instead of having to remove the current lines and then restripe using overtime on the weekends. The city doesn’t currently have enough funds to hire enough staff that could handle extra work load on a weekday that bike lanes installations require. Street services was so busy working week after week putting in bike lanes during the last fiscal year that the workers had to plead to have the July 4th weekend off.

    A lot of people who are against Measure J are looking at it very simplistically in terms of it being a tax and not realistically in that it will cost residents less with it, compared to without it.

  23. If the cost of repairing roads is important, why don’t they make vehicle registration fees proportional to the weight of the vehicle? That’s how they do vehicle registration fees in Japan.

    As it stands now, the annual CA DMV vehicle registration fees are done by year make of the car and gas displacement. Weight is not a factored in.

    It only makes sense that the heavier the vehicle, the more damage is done to the roads, so they should ante up more in registration fees to recover road repair costs.

    Why should a lighter Corolla have to pay the same registration fee as a heavier Hummer when the latter does damage to the roads more?

    Why should a motorcycle have to pay the same registration fees as a bus or a 18-wheeler when the latter weighs more and does more damage to the roads?

  24. “If the cost of repairing roads is important, why don’t they make vehicle registration fees proportional to the weight of the vehicle?”

    Now this is an idea that I can agree with. Tax heavier vehicles more and relieve taxes for lighter vehicle owners. Gas prices do not have a direct correlation with deteriorating condition of our roads, but weight of vehicles do.

    Start adding a vehicle weight tax upon every annual vehicle registration that goes to fund road repairs. The Ford Expedition and Cadillac Escalade owners needs to pay more as they weigh far more than Toyota Corollas and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

    At the same time, encourage people to switch to lighter cars with less taxes. By making taxes going to road repairs directly proportional to the weight of the cars, it creates better fairness of whom should ante up more than others. By doing so, it’ll also have the positive effect of making our roads last longer. If 50% of SUV owners switches to more fuel efficient and lighter weight vehicles, that accomplishes two things: better for the environment and less stress on our roads.

    The manufacturers of the vehicles already supply the gross vehicle weight so it wouldn’t be too hard to implement this onto the DMV software system. And this would be far easier to implement as it’s done on the state level instead of trying to convince the other 49 states to go along with a gas tax hike on the federal level.

  25. Realistically, if Measure J is not approved by voters, then hundreds of miles of roads will continue to be in poor condition for decades to come in Los Angeles and other cities in the county. Don’t look to the state or federal government to come to the rescue anytime soon as roads have been deteriorating for decades throughout the country.

    Measure J is estimated to cost an average of $25 per year for every resident in the county. That breaks down to an average of less than 7 cents a day per person, or an average of perhaps 17 cents a day for a entire household. Does anyone seriously believe that you are doing less than 17 cents a day worth of damage to your tires and shocks to drive on roads that are in poor condition? Or, that driving on rough roads with your tires frequently moving up and down, rather than using more of that energy to move forward, is not causing you to waste more than 17 cents a day in motor fuel?

    Plus, as a bonus if voters pass Measure J, the residents of Los Angeles will get rail transit lines completed in ten years, rather than 30. This will quickly expand the transportation capacity within the city, helping to relieve the local streets and freeways of increasing congestion.

    Wait, theres more! Some of the freeways will be expanded quicker to handle more vehicles.

    If at least sixty six percent of residents in Los Angeles County vote yes for Measure R on November 6th, and if Los Angeles borrows against these future funds to make road repairs, then the costs of maintaining the roads will be reduced by 50% per year.

    The city also won’t have to pay overtime to sandblast and restripe the roads to put bicycle lanes. They simply will have to add two more stripes for the bike lanes when the roads are resurfaced. This will speed the whole process up, which will cost the city much less per mile of bike lane.

    If someone in Los Angeles does not vote for Measure J, then they are being penny wise and pound foolish in terms of what it is going to cost them if it does not pass.

  26. “If someone in Los Angeles does not vote for Measure J, then they are being penny wise and pound foolish in terms of what it is going to cost them if it does not pass.”

    Isn’t this government telling me how to vote that goes against the very nature of democracy? Are you telling people that the people should just do whatever government says and assume they know best?

    Governments makes mistakes too you know. Look at North Korea; a great example of government doing things wrong with no input from the populace. It is up to the voters to decide whether Measure J sounds like a good idea or not.

    And if people think that there are alternative options that government hasn’t done yet that’s better than a blanket “let’s continue to tax people forever and let our children figure out what to do, who cares we’ll be dead by then” proposal, then that’s what people will do.

    In that light, taxing vehicles proportional to weight is a far better idea to fund our road repairs.

    If Measure J doesn’t pass, it doesn’t necessarily mean “people don’t like mass transit.” It can also mean “figure out a better idea because we don’t like this forever-tax plan.” It means, please go back to the drawing board.

    “Some of the freeways will be expanded quicker to handle more vehicles.”

    Nice try, but you mistake me for being pro-cars that this statement would persuade us to vote yes on Measure J. I hate freeways and I wish to have more rail. I personally believe we don’t need anymore freeways. The money spent should be focused on funding mass transit.

    But the way Metro is doing things today doesn’t seem that way either. They seem to care more about wasting taxpayer dollars on things like art work, delaying maintenance on existing lines, and lining up their own pockets with bigger salaries and retirement pensions than being serious about transit. Metro talks the talk, but there’s no walk the walk. Tax money focused on mass transit doesn’t mean “let’s go on a spending spree and install artwork! Hurray, let’s give us ourselves a big raise and fund bigger pensions!”

    If budget is a concern, why do we never hear things about pay cuts for Metro employees just like everyone else in this economy? Why do we not hear things about what Metro is doing to save on costs on The Source just like everyone else is doing? All we hear is more taxes and more spending. Does Metro really need to spend $10,000 per bus bench? Couldn’t they just buy one for $300 at Home Depot? Does Metro really need to spend $1,000,000 just for Metro Rail station signs? Wouldn’t they be better off spending the same $1,000,000 in converting some of the free park-and-ride lots to pay lots to earn extra revenue? Why should Metro officials be paid a total of $3.3 million dollars for doing a poor job? There is a total lack of financial responsibility with Metro that has no public oversight that it’s ridiculous.

    I understand Metro has their own budget problems, but as a taxpayer agency, they need to become more fiscally responsible in handling their budgets and re-evaluating their revenue stream. We cannot continue to fund mass transit just on taxes alone forever. Metro needs to wake up to the reality that the days of coming back crying to taxpayers to help with their fiscal problems is nearing its end. They need to be managed properly. And Metro needs to start looking for better ways to earn more revenue. The more you tax, the more people will hate it, and the more people hate it, they will become distrustful of government.

  27. The Measure R half cent sales tax will bring in an average of $1.3 billion per year. Each of the 12 million registered vehicles in the county would have to be taxed $111 per year to match that. It would be much less likely that Los Angeles or Metro would borrow against future taxes on vehicle weight to speed up building of transit lines or repairing roads.

    There are very few people in the county that do not travel on the roads, whether that be by bicycle, bus, truck or car. Extending the half cent sales tax would enable Metro and cities within the county to borrow against future sales taxes in order to build the Measure R transit lines much sooner and to repair the roads. Having roadways in good condition will lower the maintenance costs for transit buses, school buses, trucks, cars and also decrease the amount spent on fuel wasted idling in traffic.

    Measure J is not a tax lasting forever. It extends the Measure R half cent sales tax to 60 years. Yes, people would have to go through the pain and suffering of anticipating having to pay an average of less than seven cents a day more in sales tax starting 28 years from now.

    What kind of future is there going to be for the next generations in this county if the traffic congestion keeps increasing and it costs at least 50% more to maintain the roads due to their poor condition? How in the world is that preferable to stimulating the local economy in this recession by putting people to work repairing the roads, sidewalks and building light rail transit lines? Wouldn’t the county be a much safer and more desirable place to work and live if the roads and sidewalks were in better condition or the traffic congestion was lessened?

    While we wait for Metro to work more efficiently, let’s use far more of our money making repairs to buses, trucks and cars that have to travel along roads that are in poor condition. That’s putting our foot down! Although you might want to watch where you put that foot since about half the sidewalks in Los Angeles are also in poor condition. It’s unlikely that Los Angeles will repair those either if voters do not give them the opportunity to borrow from future taxes on Measure J.

  28. “How in the world is that preferable to stimulating the local economy in this recession by putting people to work repairing the roads, sidewalks and building light rail transit lines?”

    How in the world do we actually bring back businesses and jobs to California when they’re leaving for other states where there are less taxes and restrictions?

    We used to build cars and planes here. We used had manufacturing jobs in LA. Where did they all go? And you think a California’s answer to solving 1 in 10 unemployment is MORE TAXES? Gimme a break.

    All you guys do is tax more solution. Oh it’s only a buck. C’mon it’s only seven cents. Can’t you afford just $20 bucks more per year? Just like the panhandlers in front of the supermarket!

    You know what real Americans do? They work for it. Why can’t you make your own money yourself!

  29. “Yes, people would have to go through the pain and suffering of anticipating having to pay an average of less than seven cents a day more in sales tax starting 28 years from now. ”

    A usual tactic played by government officials to make it sound cheap. C’mon a bus pass only costs $2.40 per day, you can afford that can’t you? Never mind it costs $75 a month or $900 per year that it’s cheaper to just get around with a scooter. Never mind that it may actually end up going to $100 per month or $1200 per year as Metro can’t figure out who to make ends meet. Never mind that most American’s incomes have remained flat year after year.

    Oh come on, you can afford 7 cents a day can you? Nevermind that it adds up $25.55 per year or $1800 over a lifetime in addition to all the other extra weight in taxes we already pay. Never mind that it may go from 7 cents from a day to a buck more per day in the future. Never mind that more Americans are having a tough time finding employement as jobs leaves elsewhere because this city is business unfriendly.

    Repeat over and over again, slice by slice, little by little, until we find ourselves all being destitute like the North Korean populace while the government elites indulge themselves in fancy cars, brand name hand bags, and a grand shoe collection like Imelda Marcos.

    “While we wait for Metro to work more efficiently, let’s use far more of our money making repairs to buses, trucks and cars that have to travel along roads that are in poor condition”

    And what do we do in 2050 when roads need repairing again? Roads don’t last forever, they eventually end up needing repairs again. So what’s the long range solution? Extend taxes for another 50 years and borrow sales tax revenue from those in 2100? Increase sales taxes to 20%? And repeat over and over in 2150, and 2200?

    See, Measure J has no real long term plan. It is again, nothing but a gimmick to tax us forever. And all it does is delay taxes to more and more of our generations until we’re all destitute like North Korea.

    “That’s putting our foot down! Although you might want to watch where you put that foot since about half the sidewalks in Los Angeles are also in poor condition. It’s unlikely that Los Angeles will repair those either if voters do not give them the opportunity to borrow from future taxes on Measure J.”

    Government officials have no say in how to tell voters to vote. As much as you guys want to do, you have no right to bring out the secret police, stick a gun to our heads by holding our family and friends hostage to tell us how to vote the “right way.” You may hate it but we’re still a democracy.

    If people vote no on Measure J, it means “sorry pal, figure out another plan because we don’t like this proposal. Go back to the drawing board and figure out something better.” That’s your job and that’s why we pay you with our tax dollars. Just because you don’t want to do your job doesn’t mean we have to vote yes on this. If you don’t like it, go leave for the private sector and see how the real world is run.

  30. Realist Angelino,

    My mentioning that the average cost would be 7 cents a day was extrapolated by you to eventually morph into a 17 cents sales tax in the future, or more. Wow! Or that it will cost a person $1,800 over a seventy year period of time. Amazing! I don’t know how anyone could afford to pay 7 cents a day over that much time. Why it would be such a burden!

    Then, it could go from an average of 7 cents a day to 14.28 times that, according to you, or $7 a day. That would be another 7 cents in sales tax, instead of a half cent that Measure R and J are. Quite a leap.

    The 1 1/2 cents sales taxes from Proposition A, C and Measure R have provided funds to build the Blue, Red, Green, Orange, Gold and Expo lines. The combined ridership of these lines is about 10 million passengers a month. Without these lines, the transit riders would be in mainly be riding buses on the streets or freeways and the car use would probably be much larger than it is now.

    Twenty-five percent of Proposition A, twenty percent of Proposition C and fifteen percent of Measure R sales tax goes to each city for transportation. Without these funds, the condition of the street surfaces in Los Angeles would be worse than they are now.

    Proposition A and C are used to fund bus service and to purchase new buses. Without them, Metro would not be able to provide the level of service that they do now.

    These taxes also provide free towing service on freeways to keep them running smoothly.

    Do you believe that the transportation in Los Angeles would have been better off without this 1 1/2 sales tax? Or that just as many people would have wanted to do business or live in Los Angeles with the increasingly clogged traffic on the roads and worse transit service than there is now?

    Based on the last four quarters of Measure R sales tax returns in the County and projecting that over the next 60 years, the 15% local return to the city of Los Angeles would be $2.36 billion without factoring in growth. That would not be sufficient to repair the streets over a ten year period of time if the city borrowed against it. The amount of borrowed would lower the cost of maintaining the streets significantly. This would also reduce the amount of money that most people in the county would have to spend annually for their combination of sales tax, vehicle maintenance costs and fuel expenditures.

    Would borrowing from future Measure R sales taxes lead to a future of not being able to keep the roads in good condition? The significantly lower annual cost of maintaining streets that are in good condition should be much easier for the city to handle financially using funds provided by Proposition A and C, along with other sources.

  31. Steve, could you report on the politics that turned a transit tax into this hodge-podge of transit plus freeways plus operations tax? Or would this be too sensitive for you to talk about?

    I’d happily vote for a transit tax. But Measure R/J? No way.