City Staff Want Voters To Consider A Permanent Extension Of Measure A
With the mayor’s support, city staff are presenting a proposal on July 2 to the Long Beach City Council to extend the Measure A sales tax in perpetuity. Doing so, they argue, will ensure that critical infrastructure and public safety needs continue to be met going forward. Additionally, staff are proposing to use the sales tax revenues to pay down the city’s obligation for seismic work at Community Hospital.
Measure A was approved by voters in 2016 as a temporary sales tax that would address public safety and infrastructure needs, including reopening the police department’s South Division, restoring Fire Engine 8, paving miles of streets and alleys, rehabilitating park facilities, and more. It imposes a sales tax rate of 1% – on top of the existing sales taxes – for six years. In 2023, the rate then drops down to a half percent for four years, expiring in 2027. Long Beach currently meets the state’s cap on sales taxes at a combined rate of 10.25%.
Instead of the approved 2023 decline to 0.5%, city staff are proposing to institute a rate of 0.75% from 2023 to 2027. A quarter percent on top of this rate would flow to the Los Angeles County’s Measure H projects, which fund homeless initiatives. Following 2027, the Measure A-imposed rate would again increase to 1%, but without expiration.
The proposal being presented to the city council is to place this initiative on the March 3, 2020 ballot. Voters would also be asked to approve use of Measure A funds toward the city’s annual payments for the seismic upgrades needed to reopen and continue operating Community Hospital. In an interim agreement with the hospital operator, Molina Wu Network, the city has committed to paying $1 million annually for five years, and $2 million annually after that for a total of $25 million.
According to Mayor Robert Garcia, polling indicates that seven out of 10 Long Beach voters would support the measure. For more information, pick up the July 2 edition of the Long Beach Business Journal or read it online at lbpost.com/lbbj.
City Renames Fire Training Center After Capt. David Rosa
A year after Long Beach Fire Capt. David Rosa was killed in the line of duty, the City of Long Beach honored his memory by renaming a crucial fire department facility in his honor. The Capt. David Rosa Regional Training Facility, located at 2249 Argonne Ave., commemorates the 17-year veteran of the department who died after being shot while responding to a call for service on June 25, 2018. The Long Beach City Council approved the name change last September. In a e-letter sent after a public unveiling of the facility’s new signage today, Mayor Robert Garcia stated, “More than 200 firefighters, police officers, elected officials and community members attended today’s naming ceremony, demonstrating not only how loved, admired and respected Captain Rosa was, but also how this community comes together in times of difficulty and sorrow.”