LA City Council endorses Measure M to expand rail system

Thursday, September 15, 2016
LA City Council unanimously endorses Measure M to expand rail system
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to endorsed Measure M to expand the Los Angeles County rail system.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The argument over a ballot measure that calls for a sales tax increase to fund an expansion of the Los Angeles County rail system has picked up steam.

Los Angeles City councilmembers unanimously voted to endorse Measure M on Wednesday.

The transit-related tax increase would fund the expansion of the L.A. County rail network, including the final stretch of the Gold Line from Azusa to Montclair.

"It eases congestion by modernizing our aging transportation infrastructure, adding new transit lines that ties them together to a comprehensive 21st century system," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

The proposed indefinite half cent county wide sales tax increase would raise $860 million in funding each year.

Supporters said the measure was the best option to help reduce traffic congestion.

The initiative would give all 88 cities in L.A. County money to fund local projects such as fixing sidewalks, potholes and repaving roads.

But a coalition of cities, including Carson, have already filed suit, alleging the ballot measure is misleading.

"If you look at the ballot language it says it's a half a cent increase. It's not a half cent increase. It's a half percent increase and that's a big difference," Carson Mayor Albert Robles said.

Robles also argued that if Measure M passes it would take an additional $12 million away from the Carson, which would only see a return of $1.4 million back for local projects.

"It doesn't make sense for the residents of Carson to be robbed of $12 million every year starting Jan. 1 when we're not going to see any benefit," Robles said.