10 Hours Later, Senate Committee Tables Sales Tax Proposal

Assemblyman_Mike_Feuer.jpgBefore it can head to the ballot this fall, Metro’s proposed half cent sales tax  measure needs to be approved by both the State Senate and the LA County Board of Supervisors.  Today,  it was widely expected that the  measure would pass the Senate  Appropriations Committee, but instead, after a 10 hour hearing that discussed issues ranging from ocean fisheries conservation to disaster relief, the Committee voted to  suspend their vote on A.B. 2321 until Thursday because there "were still a few issues that needed to be ironed out."

While the committee is planning on voting on the issue again on Thursday, still leaving just enough time for the full Senate to pass it before the August 10th deadline for it to be on the ballot, today’s vote is bad news.  Nobody rose in opposition to the legislation so whatever "issues remain" in this 11th hour are probably more back room deals to placate a vocal minority that has hijacked the debate over this transit plan.  Invariably such deals will make the proposal weaker than it was before.  Remember the last round of wheeling and dealing increased road widening projects’ portion of the pot from 15% to 20% at the expense of Local Return.

The two minute presentation of Mike Feuer’s legislation did have one highlight.  During public comment and again as he went to his seat the Assemblyman’s phone went off.  There is no word on whether it was a Metro Board Member wondering what the hell was going on. 

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors is planning on voting on the legislation at tomorrow morning’s meeting which is scheduled to begin at 9:30.  Hopefully, they can reach a conclusion before dinnertime.

  • Ick. Not a good sign at all. If this thing doesn’t make it to the ballot because of some procedural deadlock, or gets to the ballot but with a lawsuit ready to disqualify it, that’s a disgrace.

  • I remember seeing Asm Feuer give testimony in L.A.’s Council Chambers back in January. His theme that day was, “More money for everything! More money will fix everything! More roads, more trains!”

    I think he is a smart guy, but this seems like a dumb idea. A huge chunk of this money is going to fund the expansion of our private automobile transportation network. This same transportation network will continue to decline in use and utility as energy prices rise in the years to come.

    I understand funding mass transit – but why not just ask the voters to re-align Proposition A and C to provide more of that funding for mass transit (i.e. by taking money away from highways and road widenings)?

    It couldn’t be more a political gambit than this 1/2 cent sales tax is.

    The bike network crap I write about can be funded with a tiny fraction of the piles of cash the MTA already has. Same thing for critical pedestrian improvements.

    The only thing being saved in this sales tax is the political futures of those who propose it. Instead of saying “Let’s de-fund the transportation network that is not going to work in 20 years.” These folks are saying “Let’s just give everyone more money!”

  • Doc Adams on the old Gunsmoke program (TV and radio) had a habit of stating “well, we’ll just have to wait and see” reagrding a prognosis for his patient given the state of medicine in the 1870s. That is my stance on the current intrigue etc. for the sales tax. And if it does make the ballot, however flawed, I’ll fight for its passage.

  • johnny

    How’s this one going? Fingers crossed…

  • I should have an update a little later today after the committee meets. Stay tuned…

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