LA voters appeared to reject Measure A Tuesday, a proposal to raise the sales tax by a half-cent in the City of Los Angeles.
The new city revenue would have gone towards "911 emergency response services; maintaining firefighter, paramedic, and police officer staffing levels; continuing community policing, senior services, after-school gang and drug prevention programs; [and] repairing potholes and sidewalks."
The polls closed at 8 p.m. By 1:37 a.m. Wednesday, the city's released unofficial results showed voters rejecting the measure 55 percent to 45 percent, with 90 percent of votes counted. The measure needs just a simple majority to pass, notes CBS LA.
Proponents, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and the League of Women Voters, argued the tax is needed to offset state funding cuts and the city's budget deficit. The measure would have brought the total sales tax in LA to 9.5 percent (with 1.25 percent going to the city). The sales tax is already 9.5 percent in several cities within LA County.
Opponents of the measure, including the Los Angeles Times and all the mayoral candidates, said the tax hike would drive business out of the city. The Times had suggested that voters should give incoming leaders a chance to balance the budget without a tax that "could hurt vulnerable consumers, deter businesses from locating in the city and slow the commerce that fuels the economy."
In the USC Price/LA Times poll released Sunday, 53.4 percent were in favor of the tax hike and 40.6 percent were opposed.
Follow the live blog below for updates on the mayoral results as well as other election results.
Even more exciting (statistically) than the mayoral race is the one to replace City Controller Wendy Greuel.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, both Ron Galperin and Councilmember Dennis Zine are in a dead heat, each gaining 37 percent of votes.
That's the third runoff!
With 100 percent of votes reporting, it appears that LA voters have chosen to reject a sales tax that would have bolstered emergency services but have also decided to open up the city's very generous pension plans to even more people.
This time for LA City Attorney. At around midnight, the Los Angeles Times and NBC LA said that the City Attorney election was most likely going to be decided in a runoff. Feuer and Trutanich will face off again in the city's general election on May 21.
|@ Wendy_Greuel : It's looking like a great night. Thank you! #LAMayor #LosAngeles http://t.co/xY9cCvK75h|
|@ ericgarcetti : It's been a whirlwind. Because of your support, we've made it through the primary. I am humbled and grateful for everything.|
|@ HuffPostLA : With 6% reporting for City Atty., Feuer: 41%, Trutanich: 34%. For Controller, Zine: 41%, Galperin: 32% #LAvotes #LAelections|
|@ HuffPostLA : With 6% reporting, Garcetti: 32%, Greuel: 31%, Perry: 19%, James: 14%, Pleitez: 3% #LAMayor #LAelections #LAVote|
|@ HuffPostLA : Initial numbers are in: Garcetti at 31.1%, Greuel at 30.9%. Perry at 19.1% & James at 14.2%. Pleitez at 2.6%.|
Depending on how the mayoral elections go, LA could either be electing their first1) Woman (Greuel or Perry) 2) Jewish person (Perry or Garcetti)
3) Openly gay person (James)
Is it cool for Angelenos to be ignorant about local issues?
Los Angeles Times political writer Jim Rainey offered his take on LA apathy on HuffPost Live Monday.
"If you don't even have an opinion or don't even know who the mayor is, you can go out and there's no social stigma attached to knowing nothing," said Rainey. "It's part of the local culture."
Only about 22 percent of 660,000 mail-in ballots had been returned by Tuesday morning, and campaign strategists figured that when Election Day voters were added only about a quarter of the city's 1.8 million voters would have cast ballots.
Wonder who this guy voted for!