Los Angeles County Sheriff Proposes Ballot Measure To Fund Emergency Care, Terrorism Preparedness
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca yesterday said that he will ask county supervisors to place a measure on the 2003 ballot that would increase the county sales tax by a half-cent to provide additional funds for emergency care and terrorism preparedness, the Los Angeles Times reports. The proposed measure, which would increase the county sales tax to 8.75% from 8.25%, could raise as much as $500 million in additional revenue, Baca said. Under the proposed measure, which would require approval from 67% of voters, the county would spend two-thirds of the revenue raised on public safety -- the county Sheriff's Department would receive most of the funds -- and one-third to improve emergency care services. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said yesterday that he had not reviewed Baca's proposal but "was open to hearing his justification for this funding request." However, he added, "I don't understand what he's trying to accomplish, other than get a large revenue stream into the Sheriff's Department. I'm not anxious to rush out to the voters with another tax. We need to remain credible with the voters." Voters on Tuesday passed Measure B, which will raise property taxes to fund trauma care centers and emergency rooms in the county. However, Baca said that "more money is needed," the Times reports (Winton/Blankstein, Los Angeles Times, 11/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.