Los Angeles County Supervisors Reject Property Tax Increase for Trauma Care Funding
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday rejected a proposal to increase property tax assessments by a quarter of a cent to help pay for new trauma care centers and other "urgent health care needs" in the Antelope and San Gabriel valleys, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Emergency Medical Services Director Carol Meyer had requested that the assessment be raised to 3.25 cents per square foot.
The board said they will reconsider the proposal next year but that a surplus of $20 million will be used to fund trauma care needs in the Antelope and San Gabriel valleys for the remainder of 2005.
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said, "I can't explain to my neighbor ... why we are raising the tax when we have a $20 million surplus in the account," adding, "As far as trauma centers in the San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, that is what this reserve is all about in the first place" (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 8/3).
In related news, the board voted 3-2 to approve $500,000 to fund needle exchanges, which are intended to reduce the infection rates of HIV and other blood-borne diseases, the Los Angeles Times reports. The funding will go toward five needle-exchange programs (Los Angeles Times, 8/3).
The board in June legalized the sale of as many as 10 syringes without a prescription at pharmacies (California Healthline, 6/16).