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Move L.A. Proposes New Four-County Clean Air Sales Tax

11:28 AM PST on March 4, 2019

Move L.A. has a bold new proposal. "Vision 2020: The Southern California Clean Air, Climate Health, and Transit Enhancement Measure" would be a four-county half-cent sales tax expected to raise about $1.5 billion per year. The funding would be under the auspices of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which includes the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino. The plan would be to put the proposal to voter approval in 2020.

Introduced at Move L.A.'s Transportation Conversation conference today, the proposal is very much a draft for further discussion and refinement.

The latest draft version calls for:

    • Clean Air/NOx Reductions: zero and near-zero emission heavy-duty vehicles
    • Greenhouse Gas Reductions: zero emission light and medium duty vehicles
    • Metrolink Investments: various rail system upgrades including: enhanced service, reduced fares, system extensions, electrification, double-tracking, grade separations, and more
    • County Transit and Active Transportation: funding to counties for clean air investments including: transit capital, clean vehicles, electric buses, enhanced service, first/last mile bike/walk infrastructure
    • Regional Goods Movement Infrastructure: truck-only lanes with tolls to encourage cleanest trucks - also air quality improvements at ports, and more
Move L.A. stawman draft Vision 2020 breakdown
Move L.A. strawman draft Vision 2020 breakdown
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Read Move L.A.'s 27-page Vision 2020 brochure for more information.

There will be lots of steps to take Vision 2020 from today's broad outlines to real-world clean air improvements some day. It will need state legislation to enable air districts to levy taxes, new coalitions, campaigns, and more. It could be a heavy lift to unite voters in four southern California counties to pass a clean air tax measure, especially one that probably needs a two-thirds super-majority. But Move L.A. has a very good track record in initiating big discussions like this, including ones that led to the passage of Metro's Measures R and M transportation sales taxes.

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