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How Will Measure R Affect Your Wallet?

Half-cent sales tax increase adds up over time.

Sponsored By:

Baskin Robbins

On Tuesday, Los Angeles
County residents overwhelmingly
passed Measure R, which added a half-cent sales tax increase in Los
Angeles County to
pay for transportation improvements. The sales tax increase will last 30 years.


The improvements are said to include the synchronization of
traffic lights, expand light rail systems and repair roadways.


Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich was
staunchly opposed to the measure, claiming that it would mostly benefit areas
outside of district 5, although we would have to pay equally.


“Measure R is Robin Hood in reverse,” Antonovich said in a
published editorial before the November 4th election. “It takes from
the poor and gives to the rich.  Taxpayers from across the County are
being rolled by the downtown Los Angeles
special interests to fund the costly multi-billion dollar subway to the sea.”


According to the nonprofit Los Angeles County Economic
Development Corporation (LAEDC), the costs of the sales tax increase will be
$25 per person per year.


The real costs, however, will vary widely depending on how
much people spend.


Here are some examples of how much more you’ll be paying for
goods as a result of the sales tax increase.  


Lunch –
On a $6.95 meal, you will pay approximately 4 cents
extra as part of this tax increase. Multiply that by 4 days a week and the
total yearly cost can reach $8.32.


Groceries –
Assuming the average family of four spends $150
per week on groceries, the tax difference now will be 75 cents per week, or $36
per year.


Large purchases –
Few people purchase a couch set or new
television every year, but it is likely that a purchase exceeding $1,500 or
several smaller purchases adding up to that will occur each year. On $1,500,
the sales tax increases from $123.75 to $131.25, which is a $7.50 difference.


Cars –
This cost is perhaps the most dramatic, however a
more accurate dollar amount might be sought by dividing the sales tax among 4
to 5 years. On a vehicle purchase of $25,000, consumers in Los
Angeles County
will now pay $125 more due to the half-cent increase. If a consumer owns a car
for 5 years, that number breaks down to $25 per year.


If you add all of the yearly costs up, the total new taxes
paid based on these scenarios will total $76.82 per year. Remember, these
numbers will not be accurate for all people; however they reflect only a few
purchases. Gasoline, clothing, retail and many other potential purchases are
not calculated in our estimates.


Furthermore, if a resident chooses to stay in Los Angeles
County for the next 30 years, the total money spent resulting from this sales
tax increase could reach $2,304.


It is important to note that Measure R can only take effect
if authorizing legislation consistent with the ordinance is approved by the
state legislature prior to January 2nd
. If the legislature does approve such a law, the sales tax
increase would go into effect July 1st,


In a late development Thursday, Los Angeles County
Supervisor Antonovich issued a challenge to Measure R’s passage.


“The hanging thread of Measure R’s passage will be cut if
the supporters receive less than 65% of the more than 600,000 remaining
uncounted votes,” said Antonovich.


Antonovich also questioned the legality of an $800,000
donation by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the Measure R campaign.