Press Telegram: No on Measure R

An editorial in yesterday’s Long Beach Press Telegram urged readers to vote against the proposed half cent sales tax on this November’s ballot arguing that even after Metro’s efforts to ensure regional equity there isn’t enough money being spent on the southeastern portion of LA County.

The long and short of this measure that would
benefit L.A. but not our towns is $40 billion, funded via a half-cent
tax on everything you buy that’s taxed already at 8.25 percent, and you
and your grandchildren will be stuck with that half cent for the next
30 years, if the measure passes.

We agree with Supervisor Don Knabe, who opposes the transit
tax because it is inequitable. Yes, it’s true that some of us commute
to L.A. and beyond each day, but the vast majority of beneficiaries of
this tax are people who live and work in L.A. If they want to tax
themselves another half cent, they have our permission to do so at a later date.

Ignoring the reality that increasing transit capacity in the areas where people work will have benefits from people in every part of the county to say nothing of its effects on regional air quality; the large amount of funds being spent on highway projects also helps balance the regional spending.  $905 million to increase access to the 405 and improve the interchanges, $780 million for the 710 tunnel project, and $272 million to increase capacity on the I-5 may increase car dependency, are also projects that were put into the plan at the request of the southeast’s legislators.

If those projects aren’t enough to help sway that region’s support, it’s too bad it’s not too late to take them out and replace them with projects that would improve transit options instead of wasting money on projects that will increase the number of cars on the road.

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