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City Council Proposal Asks Voters to ‘Pitch In’ on Homelessness Problem
By City News Service
Published June 23, 2016
A three-person City Council committee advanced a proposal on June 17 to put a bond or parcel tax measure on the November ballot that would ask voters to pitch in financially to address the city's homelessness problem. (AP file photo)

A three-person City Council committee advanced a proposal on June 17 to put a bond or parcel tax measure on the November ballot that would ask voters to pitch in financially to address the city’s homelessness problem. (AP file photo)

A three-person City Council committee advanced a proposal on June 17 to put a bond or parcel tax measure on the November ballot that would ask voters to pitch in financially to address the city’s homelessness problem.

The full City Council was expected to decide Tuesday whether to request that the City Attorney’s Office draft the ballot language, with city officials hoping to get the proposed measure submitted by July 1 so that it could be placed on the November ballot.

City officials estimate it will cost about $1.85 billion to adequately house and provide services to homeless individuals and families in Los Angeles. A recent count put the city’s homeless population at about 27,000 people.

City leaders are still deciding which revenue-raising plan to put on the ballot: a $1.1 billion bond to pay for housing for the homeless over a decade, or a 10-year parcel tax to raise $80 million per year until 2027.

At least two City Council members — Jose Huizar and Marqueece Harris- Dawson — are actively pushing for the bond proposal, with the two pointing to recent polling indicating the public would be more receptive to it over a tax measure.

Another poll done on the parcel tax idea, conducted at the request of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, came back saying that fewer than half of those surveyed would support higher taxes to pay for housing the homeless, even though a two-thirds majority approval from voters is needed to get a tax passed in California.

Council President Herb Wesson, who chairs the Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations and Neighborhoods Committee that signed off on the ballot measure proposal, said he left the two options on the table to allow the City Council more time to make a decision.

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