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By Tammye McDuff
Cities in SE Los Angeles and South Bay area have been expressing resistance to Measure M over its alleged funding unfairness to south L.A. County.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the Council voted to oppose Measure M on the November ballot.
Their resolution states that Measure M would increase the sales tax by another 1/2 % in order to fund transportation projects in L.A. County, but would not focus enough on smaller projects in Lakewood and the surrounding communities.
According to statistics, Lakewood residents would pay $7 million a year more in sales tax from Measure M but Lakewood would receive only $1 million in transportation funds from the measure. Regional projects around Lakewood would not receive significant funds for several decades.
Council members expressed concerns that the MTA had structured Measure M to greatly favor projects in West L.A. and the San Fernando Valley over projects in the Gateway Region, which have been in the planning for years, such as modernizing the 710 and 5 freeways.
The Metro Board of Directors has approved placing a sales tax ballot measure on the November 8, 2016, ballot entitled the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan, or Measure M.
Los Angeles spends an average 81 hours a year stuck in traffic. Currently, there are 10.2 million people living in LA County, and we are projected to grow by 2.3 million people in the next 40 years. Traffic congestion and air pollution will continue to worsen with this influx of population. The measure is intended to raise money to meet those needs.
Measure M includes provisions establishing an independent oversight process including a taxpayer oversight committee and annual audit.
Measure M is expected to generate an estimated $860 million a year in 2017 dollars. Based on the latest economic forecast by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan would add 465,690 new jobs across the region. The proposed projects will be built over a 40-year period.
The link fact sheet summarizes the projects and Measure M funding for each Los Angeles County region if the measure passes:
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