Declaring that Measure M, the MTA proposed transportation sales tax increase on the November 8, 2016 general election ballot, is misleading and unclear to taxpayers, residents and the general public, the City of Carson filed a lawsuit today, asking the courts for help.
“The public deserves, and the law requires, a transparent, accurate description of tax Measure M, including spending priorities. At a minimum, state law requires the ballot label to disclose how much money Measure M will cost taxpayers every year—and it does not do that,” said G. Ross Trindle, III lead attorney for Carson and the other petitioning cities. “The public will not receive this essential information from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s current title and description of Measure M, which is critical for taxpayers to cast an informed vote.””
Measure M, on the November ballot would raise the LA County sales tax by one-half-percent, and to continue another earlier one-half-percent increase forever, which would have otherwise expired. The Measure requires a two-thirds vote to pass and has already been the subject of controversy. Organizations representing over 40 Southeast and South Bay cities have officially gone on record opposing the Measure. And documents filed on August 19th at the County Registrar of Voters indicate that numerous other community organizations such as the Bus Riders Union also oppose Measure M.
“Measure M, proposed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, does not meet the simple test of fairness and equity,” said Albert Robles, Mayor of Carson. “But you wouldn’t know that from the current description of this Measure. Here is some of what’s missing that must be included for voters to make an informed decision:
“Improvements to the South Bay Curve on the 405 freeway that impacts hundreds of thousands of residents will not be completed for at least 30 years; and it will take just as long for the completion of work at the 110/405 freeway interchange.
“It will also be at least 40 years before improvements on the 710, and other freeways like the 605 and the 5 are finally done.
“The Green Line extension from Redondo Beach to Torrance won’t open till 2030 – and that’s assuming it stays on schedule, which may be a small miracle.
“The promised light-rail extension through southeast LA County to downtown has been postponed for at least 25 years.
“In other words, if Measure M passes, taxpayers in about 50 communities, representing at least 2 million residents, will be paying for Measure M forever, but won’t see any traffic relief on their freeways and roads for decades.
“Measure M also lacks basic transparency as it does not tell voters how much this tax will cost each year, which is mandated by state law. And this simple fundamental transparency requirement is good public policy that all concerned residents, voters and taxpayers need,” explained Mayor Robles.
Measure M would set transportation priorities in Los Angeles County for the next forty years, and those priorities will direct the spending of billions upon billions of dollars.
“We believe voters need full and accurate information about Measure M before they go to the polls,” said Trindle, Lead Attorney for the City. “Since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has not provided that information, today we are asking the courts to step in and require that at a minimum the MTA would fulfill its legal obligation.”
Cities in LA County that have officially opposed Measure M, include Carson, Commerce, Norwalk, Torrance, Santa Fe Springs, Rancho Palos Verdes, Commerce, and Signal Hill, among others.
More information can be found at gatewaycog.org/MeasureM or http://www.ci.carson.ca.us.