Downtown streetcar could leave local landowners with more to pay

Instead of shelling out $62.5 million - what has been the projected cost of the project - the actual price presented to voters in a special mail-in election next month will be $85 million. Frankly, this is a very strange approval process- only renters or condo owners who live within roughly three blocks of the tracks will be able to vote. Downtown property owners - the folks who would be writing out the checks - can't cast ballots if they're not living in the area. They need a two-thirds vote. From the Downtown News:

[City Councilman José Huizar, who helped launched the plan], strongly rejects the notion that the campaign to woo voters has been in any way deceptive or misleading. He and other project supporters instead point out that the proposed assessments have been calculated based on assumptions of $85 million. That amount is what he says would be needed in a "worst-case scenario." Huizar and others maintain that if less public money is needed, the assessments for Downtowners will decrease. "I don't think it's that big of an issue," he said. Much of the information released to date by Huizar's office and LASI mentions the $62.5 million figure, not the $85 million that will appear on the ballot.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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