Metro Makes the Case for Half-Cent Sales Tax Increase

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Yesterday, Metro released rail ridership numbers which saw overall ridership growth of 6% compared to last year’s numbers. The Orange Line also saw growth of 1.3%. Bus ridership fell slightly, but Metro spokesperson Marc Littman attributed that to both May 2007 being a good month for bus ridership and last year’s fare increase. For a full breakdown of Metro’s May ridership, visit the Bottleneck Blog.

Following yesterday’s news, Metro sent out a press release promoting an analysis done by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) showing the benefits of a proposed half-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation would far outstrip the cost to L.A. County residents.

Highlighting the LAEDC’s findings:

  • The construction would generate $32 billion in local economic activity
  • The construction would create 210,000 full-time jobs spread over a 30-year construction period
  • The tax increase would cost residents just $25 more per person annually
  • Residents will pay about 42 percent of the sales tax

Metro’s press release comes as more and more articles keep appearing in the California press about our jet-setting governor’s staunch opposition to properly funding transit. While Metro cannot lobby for a ballot proposition, they can continue to pass along information that may help voters make up their mind. The Metro Board will vote at their June 26th meeting on whether to place the half cent sales tax on the fall ballot. The proposition will need a two-thirds vote to pass.

In case you were wondering, the state doesn’t seem to be having trouble funding highway expansion projects.

Photo: Salaam Allah/Flickr 

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