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Study Says a Sales Tax Hike is LA's Best Bet For Fixing Awful Streets and Sidewalks

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The ball is finally rolling on a long-term plan to fix Los Angeles's most rutted streets and dangerous sidewalks. A report from the city administrative officer and the chief legislative analyst released today says a half-cent sales tax hike is the best plan for paying for such a Herculean effort, reports the LA Times. The Save Our Streets Los Angeles Ballot Measure would provide $4.5 billion to fix the city's worst streets and sidewalks (of the latter, 40 percent of them are reportedly in horrible condition). The report says that past ideas, like a general bond or property tax increases, won't generate enough money, and a sales tax bump will pull money in from people who use LA's streets but don't necessarily live on them. Should two-thirds of voters approve such an initiative, the project would span 20 years, with three years of planning starting next year, 15 years of construction, and two years to wrap everything up.

The street and sidewalk efforts would be separated, as the former is more advanced in planning; it will also eat up the bulk of the money, $3.86 billion, while the sidewalk repairs will cost around $640 million. The report was done at the request of Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitchell Englander, who've been working on a voter-approved street/sidewalk measure for years—Mayor Garcetti has not said yet whether he approves such a thing. The city has to get its ducks in a row by the summer, though, if SOSLAB is to make it to the November ballot.
· LA Should Hike Sales Tax to Pay for Street Repairs, Report Says [LAT]
· Meet the Block With Los Angeles's Most Dangerous Sidewalks [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles Has the Worst Roads of Any Big City in the US [Curbed LA]