Los Angeles Voters Approve Tax Increases To Tackle Traffic And Homelessness

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If approved, billions of dollars will be put toward building houses for the homeless and improving the city's highways and public transit

November 14, 2016

Interstate 5 in Los Angeles. Photo: Ken Lund/Creative Commons

It’s likely that Los Angeles voters approved two ballot questions that would earmark billions to address traffic tie-ups and homelessness, the Los Angeles Times reported. The measures would provide funds to building many new rail lines and create new permanent housing for the homeless. In order to become law, the two questions must be approved by a two-thirds majority. Final ballots were expected to take a few days to be counted, but it appears that the measures have been approved, the Times says.

The ambitious housing plan calls for borrowing $1.2 billion to construct homes. The money would be used to speed up construction of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless people. Dedicated bonds would be repaid via a new property tax of about $9.64 for each $100,000 in assessed valuation each year over 29 years.

The transportation measure would raise county sales tax by a half-penny, generating about $120 billion over four decades for new highway projects, and expanded bus and rail lines, including boring rail tunnels through the Sepulveda Pass.

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