Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said for the first time Wednesday that he would like to ask voters in November to consider a half-cent sales-tax increase in Los Angeles County to pay for more road and mass transit projects, the L.A. Times reports.
“I’d like to get a sales-tax initiative on the ballot, but we have to build a consensus on that first. I’m working on that as we speak,” the mayor said.
An increase would raise the sales tax from 8.25% to 8.75%, which would tie the county with several other localities that have the highest sales tax in the state.
The idea of a November transportation tax has been gaining ground with rising gas prices and increasing public pressure for new transit lines, including the Wilshire Boulevard “subway to the sea” and an extension of the Gold Line in the San Gabriel Valley.
Earlier this month, David Fleming, chairman of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, said that as a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member, he intends to vote to move the sales tax toward the November ballot. He just wants assurances that the money won’t be raided later for some other government purpose.
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