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LA City Council to consider bond measure to fix damaged roads

January 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Homeowners could end up footing the bill to fix Los Angeles' worst roads. Wednesday, the City Council is considering a hefty bond measure to be placed on the May ballot for street repairs.

Councilman Mitchell Englander, whose district covers Northridge, says the top complaint among constituents is damaged roads, including potholes and broken asphalt. Englander says the problem isn't unique to Northridge; it's rampant across the city of Los Angeles.

The Bureau of Street Repair says that 37 percent of Los Angeles streets get a grade of D or F, and 8,700 miles of L.A. streets are in need of repair. But how will we pay to fix them?

Englander and fellow Councilman Joe Biscaino are proposing a $3 billion bond measure that would be slated on the May ballot. It would add $24 a year to the property tax of a home valued at $350,000.

Some residents who oppose the measure say they're already taxed out. Property owners throughout the county will be voting on an additional $54 annual tax for a clean water initiative, and there's another ballot measure in March that would hike sales tax in L.A. by a half cent to generate $2.1 billion for fire and police services.

"We have enough taxes as it is right now. I don't think I'd want to pay more taxes. They should do it because I think they have the funding available to fix the streets," said Arda Nazarian of Reseda. However, officials say that's not the case.

Another figure to take into consideration when deciding on this measure is the cost to drivers. Authorities say it costs $750 per year for motorists to fix their cars after driving on damaged roads.


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