Richards Fires Back at Parochialism in Sales Tax Debate

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The Southern California Transit Advocates’ Kymberleigh Richards penned an op/ed for today’s Daily News that punches a hole in the argument that Metro’s sales tax proposal is unfair to some parts of the county because funds aren’t distributed based on residential population.  To wit:

I do not disagree with Antonovich that the North
County is a growth area. But I also see that the people who live there
largely work "down under" … downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando
Valley, Century City and the Westside.

This is already proven by the high demand for both
Metrolink and commuter bus service to those areas from the North
County. A rail line through the Sepulveda Pass, as proposed in the
sales-tax measure, would connect the Metrolink service from the North
County with the Westside, and provide real relief to the supervisor’s
constituents who are at present stuck on the 405, either in their cars
or in those commuter buses.

Similar scenarios exist from the San Gabriel
Valley and the Eastside. People who live in those regions and work
downtown, in the Miracle Mile, or on the Westside are the real reason
the subway extension is needed. Those people are already forced to
choose between being stuck in traffic in their own cars or being stuck
in traffic on a Metro Rapid bus on Wilshire.

Zev Yaroslavsky has tried to make this argument in the past, but his reliance on numbers he made up on the spot made his argument less than confusing.  In her piece today, Richards clearly makes the case that spending money equally in legislative districts makes a lot less sense than spending funds where people commute.  To read the rest of Richards’ op/ed click here.

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