Could the failed Measure J transportation tax be the rock that fells (part of) Proposition 13? The half-cent sales tax extension, which would've helped speed up tons of LA transit projects, failed with 66.11 percent of the vote--because of 1978's Prop 13, most tax measures in California have to be passed by a two-thirds majority (Prop 13 also caps yearly property tax increases at a very low rate). To recap: Measure J had a nice, big majority and it still lost by .56 percent. So people are pissed. Measure J backers are now calling for an overhaul of the two-thirds rule and on Monday a Pasadena state senator introduced a constitutional amendment "that would establish a lower vote threshold of 55 percent for propositions related to funding local transportation projects," according to The Source. As the LA Times notes, Measure J had support from billionaires, the Dodgers, the mayor, big unions, Occidental Petroleum, and developers (as well as Angelenos who just want to ride a damn subway down Wilshire while they still have all their teeth). The measure was opposed by "a small coalition of groups with assorted grievances against the county's transit agency"--that is, in the word's of frequent Metro-antagonist Damien Goodmon, "It wasn't a vote against mass transit, it was a vote against inadequate return of our tax dollars."
· State legislation proposed regarding transportation sales taxes [The Source]
· Effort to Speed Up LA's Transit, Freeway Projects Narrowly Fails [Curbed LA]