LA's Measure W would charge property owners to help recycle rainwater

Carlos Granda Image
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

Measure W in Los Angeles County would place a tax on property to help capture and recycle rainwater rather than having it wash out to the ocean.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Proponents say it's all about rainwater.

"Traditionally every drop that drops here we've engineered to wash out to the ocean so we need to capture and clean the water that falls here and put it to good use," says Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

To pay for all this Measure W would place a new tax on property. The tax would be on what is called "impermeable area" such as your house your driveway, concrete patios. Anything that stops rainwater from going into the ground.

"The people who can least afford this are paying this... Los Angeles County residents. Right now we are facing a housing crisis and an affordability crisis and right now we cant afford it," says D'Andre Valencia from the L.A. County Business Federation.

How much will this cost you? There is a calculator on the Measure W website to help you figure it out. We went to one neighborhood and found Greg Smith. We put in the numbers and for his home in Burbank the additional tax would be about $64 a year.

"In politicians' minds we aren't collecting enough because we have to fix this, we have to adjust that. I'm for putting them on a diet and getting a little control over their spending," says Smith.

All together the tax would raise about $300 million a year. Opponents say a big problem is there is no plan on what to do with the money.

According to Valencia "They're asking for the money up front and saying they're going to do due diligence and get it right."

"We are going to pay for this one way or another. I would rather pay it upfront than pay for it later," says Garcetti.