Knabe Statement on Measure R Extension

At today’s Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) meeting, the Board of Directors approved requesting that Los Angeles County put an ordinance on the November 6, 2012 ballot which would extend the Measure R sales tax.  Originally passed by the voters in 2008, this ordinance would extend the one-half cent sales tax for an additional 30-years.  Supervisor Knabe, who voted against extending the sales tax, issued the following statement:

“While the vision that is driving the current effort to make the Measure R sales tax permanent is well-intentioned, it is disingenuous to the voters to give a blank check to the MTA.  The sales tax currently does not expire until 2039, so there is no reason to extend it unless we want to spend the next generation’s money today.

Measure R was the MTA’s promise to the voters, in all 88 cities and the County of Los Angeles, that transit and highway projects would be delivered on time and within budget over 30 years.  Now, only four years later, the MTA is looking to revise that promise because their financial assumptions underlying Measure R are not being realized as originally planned, and additional sources of funding are needed to deliver these same projects.

While the people of Los Angeles County are desperate for congestion relief, I cannot support asking for yet another commitment from future generations, especially when there are no guarantees that the additional funding will go toward implementing a fair and balanced transportation program in Los Angeles County.  Let’s show the voters that we can live up to their expectations before we make promises we cannot keep.”