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LA sales-tax hike proposed to fix city streets, infrastructure

L.A.'s top financial officer wants the city to ask voters for a sales-tax hike to pay for repairs.
March 19, 2014 2:28:13 PM PDT
It's no secret that Los Angeles has more than its share of crumbling roads and buckling sidewalks. L.A.'s top financial officer wants the city to ask voters for a sales-tax hike to pay for repairs.

Driving around Los Angeles you can feel the potholes and cracked streets and see the torn-up sidewalks.

"We have an infrastructure that's crumbling," said L.A. Councilman Joe Buscaino.

City officials are recommending a half-cent sales-tax increase to fix the city's worst streets. Buscaino says the disrepair is from years of neglect.

"We can put the blame on our grandparents that ran this city years ago, but as a member of this body we need to act now, otherwise it's going to get more costly," said Buscaino.

Buscaino says 10 years ago this would have cost $1.5 billion. Now it's up to $3 billion and rising.

But getting people to vote for higher taxes won't be easy. In an exclusive Eyewitness News poll conducted by SurveyUSA, people were asked if they would support the tax: 55 percent said no, 40 percent said yes.

"We have been repaving our streets, about 800 miles a year of repaving, but the streets that we're talking about here are those that even repaving doesn't work," said L.A. City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana.

The proposal must be approved by the city council and the mayor by this summer if it's to be placed on the November ballot.


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