LA Council Members Put Street Repair Plan, Tax Hike On Hold
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City Council members Tuesday said that an effort to repair 8,200 miles of deteriorating city streets has reached a roadblock, leading to a backlog of broken streets.
A half-cent sales tax hike was proposed by city officials onto the November ballot to raise money for the repairs, but the plan has reportedly been dropped, according to City Councilman Mitch Englander.
Englander said in a statement that work on the Save Our Streets proposal has been “terminated”.
City Councilman Joe Buscaino, along with Englander, introduced the goal with the intention of fixing all of the city’s damaged streets in 2013.
Buscaino later said it was “after thoughtful and careful consideration” that they “decided this November is not the best time to place the Save our Streets LA (SOSLA) measure on the ballot.”
The “infrastructure crisis” throughout the city is more widespread than the subject of streets, extending to sidewalks and stormwater systems.
“Before asking voters to open their wallets, we owe it to them to thoroughly and exhaustively explore all options, and to ensure that we are maximizing the use of every tax dollar we receive by operating as efficiently as possible,” Buscaino said.
This would also give city officials the opportunity to incorporate forthcoming recommendations from City Controller Ron Galperin, who reportedly conducted an audit of the city’s pavement preservation program.
Englander, meanwhile, stated that after they “delved into the complexities of maintaining and updating our infrastructure, it became obvious that the single biggest impediment” was that of the need for a consistent source of funding that is needed to pay for the repairs.
“The (funding) sources that we have depended on have been reduced, are restrictive, or have disappeared entirely, leaving a larger and larger gap for which the only eligible backfill source was” the operating fund of the city, according to Englander.