NEWS FROM DON KNABE
Supervisor, Fourth District
County of Los Angeles
822 Hahn Hall of Administration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: David A. Sommers
(213) 453-6446 (cell)
LOCAL ROADS COULD CRUMBLE UNDER STATE PROPOSAL
LOS ANGELES, June 22, 2009 – Los Angeles County would lose nearly a quarter-billion dollars in local transportation and roadway maintenance funds under a proposal currently being considered by California State leaders.
The Legislature’s Budget Conference committee proposes “taking” two years of the local portion of the gas tax collected for the Highway Users Tax Account (HUTA). Meanwhile, the California Department of Finance has proposed a one-year suspension of Proposition 42, which requires a portion of the sales taxes collected on gasoline be directed for local transportation needs where the gas was sold.
Between the HUTA and Proposition 42 suspensions, cities and counties across California would lose $1.7 billion for transportation and roadway needs. In Los Angeles County, the County’s Department of Public Works would lose over $215 million in the next two years. Cities within Los Angeles County would lose tens of millions more for their own transportation needs.
“The potential loss of these goes far beyond simply fixing potholes,” said Supervisor Don Knabe, Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “These transportation dollars are used for public safety fleets, maintaining our first responder systems, and ensuring our streets don’t crumble away. Taxpayers pay for these funds at their local gas pumps, so the local money the State wants to take should rightfully stay in place to pay for local projects.”
The proposed reduction will essentially gut core municipal services and programs provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. The majority of County gas tax revenues received from the State directly funds road emergency response, road maintenance, street sweeping, street lighting, snow removal, traffic signal maintenance, tree maintenance and other critical services along the 3,422 miles of roadways and highways maintained by Public Works.
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