LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants an extra half cent sales tax in Los Angeles County to continue indefinitely to help speed up transit projects.
The tax is scheduled to come off the books in 2039, but Villaraigosa is calling for voters to support a Measure R, which would allow the sales tax increase to go far into the future, to get 12 jumbo transit projects rolling.
Villaraigosa wants those projects done in 10 years, instead of 30 years, the mayor’s press secretary, Teddy Davis tells KNX 1070′s Jon Baird.
“We could get the Green Line to LAX 10 years sooner,” the mayor’s press secretary, Teddy Davis, said. “We could get the subway to Westwood 13 years sooner.”
There are concerns that by borrowing against future revenues, future projects will be shortchanges.
Meantime, city workers are expected to protest outside the mayor’s State of the City address later Wednesday because the mayor is also expected to announce plans to lay off some workers and delay pay raises for others.