In an attempt to build more transit and freeway projects before we all die, Metro is considering a new sales tax or an extension of the current Measure R sales tax that provides billions for rail, bus, freeway, and street projects. The transportation agency will talk about getting the ball rolling on a new tax at their board meeting next month. Last year's Measure J, the proposed extension of 2008's Measure R, was just shy of the required (and pretty ridiculous) threshold of 66.67 percent of voters. This time, Metro is hiring pollsters to gauge what people in places like the South Bay and Antelope Valley want out of a new transit/freeway tax, which could help build more carpool lanes, shorten the construction time on the subway extension to Westwood, and pay for a transit project along the Sepulveda Pass. Voters will likely decide on the matter in 2016 (rather than next year), so the agency has ample time to reach voters and convince them of the initiative's benefits. If Metro decides to go with an extension of Measure R, which expires in 2039, it would only allow new projects to be built after that date, unless the agency leverages the extension to get new loans or federal grants. If a brand new tax goes on the ballot and passes, Metro wouldn't need an outside source to front the billions.
· Metro considers asking voters for a sales tax hike to pay for transportation [Daily News]