Knabe To Change Vote On Transit Sale Tax Issue

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe has announced that at the next meeting of the Board of Supervisors, he will enter a motion to reconsider the Board’s previous vote on the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) sales tax measure. Supervisor Knabe has also decided that at the time of the reconsideration he will change his vote from ‘no’ to ‘yes.’

Supervisor Knabe’s planned reconsideration and intention to change his vote effectively means that the MTA sales tax measure now has the three votes it needs to pass the Board of Supervisors and go before the voters as part of the consolidated November 2008 Presidential Election ballot, and not as a totally separate election.

This morning, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk informed the Board of Supervisors that the costs of a concurrent election, with the MTA sales tax appearing as a totally separate ballot in the November election, would cost taxpayers an additional $10.3 million. If the MTA measure were included as part of the main ballot, the cost would be $7.2 million, instead of the $17.5 million estimated for a separate ballot.

Additionally, the MTA measure would have to be setup as a completely separate election that would be conducted on the same day as the November 4, 2008 general election. Polling places would require additional staffing and voters would get separate ballots, sample ballots and voter guides for both elections.

I remain absolutely opposed to the MTA sales tax measure and I plan to spend my time and effort campaigning against it, said Supervisor Knabe. The plan is not equitable for all County residents and this is the wrong time to burden people with even higher taxes.

Although I am against the sales tax plan, I cannot in good conscience burden County residents with over $10 million in higher election costs. The taxpayers will have to pay for these costs, and that is something I will not allow to happen. Additionally, the separate ballots, voter guides, and other resources needed to conduct a separate election on the same day as the Presidential Election could cause unnecessary confusion and challenges for voters. This upcoming election is the most important in many years, and voters deserve better than a potential disaster at their polling place.