Indecision 2010: Prop 22

Here is a little editorial on California Proposition 22: Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act of 2010. First, here are the basic principles of Prop 22 compliments of ballotpedia.

Under the proposal, the state would not be allowed to take:

  • Revenue derived from locally imposed taxes, such as hotel taxes, parcel taxes, utility taxes, and sales taxes. These local taxpayer dollars are dedicated to cities, counties, special districts and redevelopment agencies and are used to fund public safety, emergency response, and other local government services.
  • Local public transit and transportation funds, including funds from the Proposition 42 gas tax, HUTA gas tax.[4]

Also, if the ballot proposition is approved, when a local government entity sues the state government under the law and wins, the state comptroller must automatically appropriate the funds needed to pay to that local government the funds that the court has decided it is owed.

Why this Issue is Important:

  • The state has been robbing transit agencies of their funding to make up for its own budget shortfalls.
  • In 2010, LACMTA is facing a quarter billion dollar deficit; the largest in the agencies history.
  • The MTA gets operational funds from a few sources: fare box revenue, a portion of sales tax receipts, advertising,  and federal, state, and local grants.

Metro Funding by Source

  • MTA also funds other transportation related agencies such as the Southern California Regional Rail Agency (SCRRA), more commonly known as Metrolink, as well as street and highway improvements.

Back in 2002, state voters decidedly voted YES on prop 42, the Transportation Congestion and Improvement Act. That proposition required…

“… effective July 1, 2003, existing revenues resulting from state sales and use taxes on the sale of motor vehicle fuel be used for transportation purposes as provided by law until June 30, 2008. Requires, effective July 1, 2008, existing revenues resulting from state sales and use taxes be used for public transit and mass transportation; city and county street and road repairs and improvements; and state highway improvements. Imposes the requirement for a two-thirds of the Legislature to suspend or modify the percentage allocation of the revenues.”

So basically, prop 42 allocated money derived from CA’s gasoline tax to fund public transit and mass transportation projects, various roadway improvements, and highway projects. Prop 22 merely serves to protect those funds from the state.

So what’s bad about Prop 22?

Well since the state has such a huge budget deficit (approximately $20 billion dollars), it will have to look for other sources of revenue to help pay for education, social services, etc. These are valid concerns, and it seems that the only real solution is for the state to balance its budget.

Here’s the voter guide to help you make an informed decision for yourself!


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