by Nina Royal
A hearing regarding Save Our Streets LA, (SOSLA) proposal was held on Wednesday, April 2, at L.A City Hall. It was chaired by Kevin James, Department of Public Works and included Councilmembers Joe Buscaino, Mitch Englander the City’s Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst. The community briefing session titled “Save Our Streets LA” proposes to fix 8,700 lane miles of failed streets and sidewalks throughout the City of Los Angeles and to be supported with an increase in sales tax to 9.5%. This proposal has a history. In January 2013, Councilmembers, Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino introduced a motion to the City Council to reduce the backlog of street repairs with a General Obligation Street Bond for revenue to help decrease the problem. However, this was presented without a timely notice to the communities or their Neighborhood Councils and created a huge uproar in the communities. The councilmembers decided to go back to the drawing board to conduct more studies.
They came back with the half cent sales tax increase proposal because it spreads the costs for the street repair and sidewalk programs to a broader spectrum of the infrastructures’ users ,including those who do not live within the city, but use the City’s streets. It’s estimated that a half cent sales to increase funds would generate sufficient revenue to fund the proposed repairs within the 15 year construction window recommended by the Bureau of Engineering and Harris & Associates. According to both councilmembers, the sales tax increase would enable the street repair and sidewalk repair programs to be financed on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
They also promise not to touch the money and will not put it in the general fund and they will only complete jobs or spend money for the streets as the funds become available.
There are more outreach meetings planned throughout the city in the near future.
Visit www.SOSLA.org for more information.