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Poll: Will You Support Extended Sales Tax Increase for Transit Projects?

If the extension of the half-cent sales tax gets on the November ballot, will you vote for it?

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority just needs California Gov. Jerry Brown's signature before it can ask county voters in November to  for the next 30 years to accelerate rail, highway, bus and local transportation improvement projects around the region.

A bill authorizing the ballot measure received California Senate approval Wednesday. Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) wrote the bill, known as AB 1446.

If Gov. Brown signs the bill, the Nov. 6 ballot will include Measure J—which refers to the extension of Measure R, the half-cent sales tax hike voters approved in 2008. Measure R is dedicated to the construction and operation of a specified list of transportation projects, including the , the Gold Line Extension, and various other projects in the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles. The sales tax increase is already set to last until 2039, raising a projected $40 billion in that time period. Approval of the November ballot proposal would extend the tax until 2069.

Click here to see the Measure J language Metro plans to include on the November ballot.

The extension would enable Metro to "bond against" future Measure R revenue from the tax, meaning the agency can estimate the anticipated amount of Measure R revenue, sell that amount in bonds to receive that estimated revenue quickly, and then pay back the bond holders when the money from the Measure R sales tax is collected.

In addition to allowing Metro to build transportation projects sooner than originally planned, relying only on local funds to do so, AB 1446 would also create jobs for local construction workers building those projects.

"We need to get these transportation projects underway now," Feuer said in statement. "By passing AB 1446, we are empowering L.A. County voters to jumpstart 160,000 jobs and break through traffic congestion that chokes our region."

To read AB 1446 in full, click here.

We want to know what you think, readers—are you willing to continue to pay a higher sales tax to fund transit projects? What do you think of the projects that the county has planned? Do you think the investment in transit will ultimately pay off? Vote in the poll and leave your opinion in the comments below.

Myticketrescue August 24, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Just curious as to wether there are any actual facts about how many riders per day/week/month/year actually <a href="http://myticketrescue.com/speeding-tickets/ ">consistently</a> use the other lines that already exist. Or are we the many, going to be paying taxes so the few have a cheaper easier less stressful commute? I know none of the current or proposed lines can take me or my family to any location we frequent, not work, school, extra curricular activities, entertainment, etc.
plaidness August 24, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Taxed Enough Already!
Daryl Hons August 24, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I am 100% for mass transit but will vote no on Measure J unless the Metropolitan Transportation Authority includes the planned Phase II extension of the Gold Line in its list of transit priorities, which it will not. Its stated position is that it will not even consider Phase II until 2039! Consequently, all planned mass transit projects are within the city of Los Angeles. This isn't regionalism and it doesn't benefit people that have to drive several miles to get to a train station just to "benefit" from the rail projects that will be located within Los Angeles. It also doesn't benefit people who work in Pasadena, another major employment area, if they need to drive for miles to get to a train station. As a result of the MTA's opposition, Antonovich is cooking up a scheme to divert highway money generated by Measure R for rail extension in the San Gabriel Valley. The biggest problem is that this scheme will only ALLOW funds to be diverted. The actual allocation of funds must be APPROVED by the MTA board, composed of several seats with Los Angeles interests. This only invites more deal making and a furtherance of the Byzantine way important projects are handled in this area. The Gold Line has an average daily ridership of 47,000. The project stands by itself as a testament of success, despite Los Angeles attempts to take all Measure R funding and decry mass transit usage outside its corporate city limits.
Gary Kavanagh August 24, 2012 at 07:16 PM
When the airline industry as we understand it today collapses under the weight of rising fuel costs, young people like myself will be cursing the lack of foresight of our selfish predecessors who burnt up all the cheap oil reserves with no thought for what happens next.
Gary Kavanagh August 24, 2012 at 07:19 PM
If the boomers fail to invest in transportation that will function as our cheap oil reserves run dry, already being replaced by low grade, low energy return projects like shale and tar as we speak, they will be cursed as the most greedy selfish and ignorant generation of history. That's my 2 cents as a young millennial.
Gary Kavanagh August 24, 2012 at 07:34 PM
A) your ignoring the flow the other direction, of general funds dumped into automobile transportation projects. In the US about half of all highway spending comes out of general fund budgets that are not covered by fuel taxes or registration fees, and in some places less than half. Not to mention that since the gas tax has not been pegged to inflation, the gas tax has been dropping every year for more than a decade. B) the Metrolink figure (and Metrolink is a much smaller feature of this spending) is beyond nonsensically fictional. Source? C) Every-time you park your car and don't pay for it, you are receiving a subsidy, a very substantial one. Even though I don't own a car, every time a driver parks their car for free I am helping pay for their privilege. Transit users at least pay a fee on every trip, but drivers get free (but not really because someone is paying for it) real-estate for storing their land use gobbling machines for the majority of vehicle trips, and even when parking is charged, it is typically below market rate. D) Whether you can use transit or not because of loads you carry, it's better if more people who can do, so they are not competing for limited road space and parking with people who do drive. Traffic is a system and social issue of many components, with indirect benefits and consequences for all. E) "Even if the rider paid 25% of the cost it's a start. " Fare box recovery for riders paying directly is already 25%-30% of LA Metro costs.
frank van neutra lautner August 24, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Tea Party
frank van neutra lautner August 24, 2012 at 07:43 PM
"Carol Elliott 7:49 pm on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 And you base your conclusion on what? So are you saying that only Occupy/Democrats should be the ones posting comments?? Comment_arrow Andy Krinock 12:22 pm on Thursday, August 23, 2012 Common sense does not make one a member of any group" I take this all as tacit agreement that what I've pointed out is true.
LAofAnaheim August 24, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Your numbers are off. Westside has $5.5 billion in projects ($1.5 billion for Expo Phase II and $4.1 billion for Westside subway extension), South LA has $1.7 billion for the Crenshaw Line (that's NOT the weside) and SGV has $2 billion ($760M for the Foothill Gold Line Phase IIa and $1.3B for the Eastside Gold Line extension). Read up on Measure R facts.
frank van neutra lautner August 24, 2012 at 07:44 PM
You already do. What got you started with this concern now?
LAofAnaheim August 24, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Or money can be taken from freeway projects TO transit projects within a certain region...
LAofAnaheim August 24, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Metro.net produces monthly ridership statistics. Currently, we have nearly 400K on the Metro rail lines and the 2nd busiest bus ridership in the USA.
LAofAnaheim August 24, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Rail already goes to downtown LA, Hollywood, Pasadena Old Town, downtown Long Beach, USC, etc.... those are prime destinations in LA, I'd be shocked if you say it goes "nowhere for entertainment...". Ridership facts are on Metro.net published monthly.
LAofAnaheim August 24, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Ride Metro rail during rush hour and then say "nobody is using it"...
John Maliga August 24, 2012 at 08:42 PM
if you actually rode the lines, you'd see that they are packed with riders. Take a little time to actually be in the world of people, and a little less time promoting your website MYTICKETRESCUE. You've been already tagged as inappropriate for the SPAM (read: free advertising).
PCH Commuter August 24, 2012 at 11:00 PM
No, unless they use some of the money to build a subway from Santa Monica to Bob Morris' Paradise Cove Beach Cafe!
Dennis August 24, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Sam: I like your passion. But I disagree with you. I have been a county employee , a private sector employee (union member at both) and a private business owner. I see way to much influence and money from unions aimed at our elected officials as well as the voting public. Sadly, I see television and hear radio commercials being paid for by unions on stations that cost a great deal. The union members should be up in arms over the use of their union dues. I do believe most public sector employees are down to earth, hard working and the brunt of undue criticism. The items you mentioned may be isolated; however, I can tell you as a business owner I was forced to pay people less (not more), I had to lay people off for lack of work, I had to reduce and finally eliminate health care due to government regulations. We had no annual step raises. My biggest complaint is the unrealistic job security afforded public employee union members. When there is no money a private business either goes out of business or cuts costs. Public sector just keeps rolling along and unfortunately, government costs are somewhere around 70% payroll. Public employment has become an entitlement program that we cannot afford.
ManSky August 25, 2012 at 01:20 AM
If you just criticize, and don't offer constructive comments, why bother even posting? Don't base things on politics (TEA/Occupy), or reactions, but real change. If you don't participate, but only criticize, don't bother. Anyone can say "no taxes", or "I like the TEA party", Do you really want change, or do you just want to complain about those who have an idea?
Sam Burgess August 25, 2012 at 01:33 AM
FYI: Sam and Sam Burgess are 2 diferent people. No political statement here just FYI.
PCH Commuter August 25, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Dave, It might not actually be graft that leads to great contracts, from the union point of view. It might just be that the officials who negotiate the public union contracts on behalf of the public agencies they represent have no skin in the game. One reason the entertaiment union negotiations are protracted is because the union contracts effect studio, network and producers' bottom line and the financial impact is felt immediately. (Please note that I support the enterainment unions 100% and the funds that are in invested for the benefits the entertainment unions provide are very well managed.) The generous benefits for members of public worker unions are causing a financial drain on public coffers because the benefits are paid directly from tax revenue, not the investment of monies paid to the union benefit funds by employers.
Truthy August 25, 2012 at 05:25 AM
Unions influence the government too much? Then what are the corporations doing? They give 10 times more and then brainwash you into how to think via their (faux) news propaganda.
Tom August 26, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I will not support a general tax increase within California until two things happen: 1) Meaningful reform of public pensions and work rules. 2) Prop 13 reform.
peter betts August 27, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Peter Betts It's like dropping change into a bottomless pit. With the Miramar, 6 story building on 6th St., Apt. buildings downtown with locked parking spaces added for'developers' perks? Do you trust "them" to stop their behavior?
Terry Stobie August 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM
no new taxes Not to mention the valley alwyas gets screwed in these deals westside and downtown get a subway we get a busway Just remember "ITS NOT PUBLIC SAFETY, ITS PENSION SAFETY
GK August 30, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Measure J is a joke. It hands over a giant bag of cash to an agency without any accountability requirements. There is no guarantee that existing proposals will be completed. Measure J's simple majority voting structure guarantees that the money can be diverted for pet projects (subway to the sea) and highway building. The is a jumpstart to disaster.
GK August 30, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Opponents of Measure J, please join the FB discussion group. "No on Measure J"
Tina Gulotta-Miller August 31, 2012 at 01:45 AM
No thank-you Mike Feuer.
Tina Gulotta-Miller August 31, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Boston's "Big Dig" is now rearing it's ugly head. A 3.5 mile "tunnel" to reroute I-93 in Boston. Bankrupting the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority of their entire Transportation budget. Costs = $22,000,000,000 billion Years of Construction = 17. That's more than the entire deficit for the State of California @ $19,000,000,000 billion. I want to back projects that move cargo on freight rail & electric rail lines and Light Rail and expanded bus lines that move people in a better way around Los Angeles and California.
Tina Gulotta-Miller August 31, 2012 at 01:57 AM
No on Measure J!!!!
Tina Gulotta-Miller August 31, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Sam is right. Read the Fasana amendment (now Measure J). See Vice Versa from Transit to Highway Improvements and Highway to Transit. The invasive SR-710 Extension is a huge mistake as this tunnel will be REALLY expensive and take years to build. Freight rail for cargo makes most sense...... Moving trucks and their goods becomes the mission of the North 710 Corridor.

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