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L.A. Metro mulls sales tax ballot measure

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is considering a sales tax ballot measure in 2016 to raise money to build several projects in its long-range transportation plan.

The measure would allow voters to decide on a new 40-year half-cent sales tax beginning in mid-2017, as well as an 18-year extension to the county's Measure R half-cent sales tax, which is currently set to expire in 2039.

These taxes could generate an estimated $120 billion between 2017 and 2057, according to "The Source," Metro's blog.

The agency currently receives funding from three different sales tax measures, including Measure R, but these "do not provide enough money to build many long-sought transportation projects," agency officials wrote on the blog.

The agency's 13-member board will decide whether to go forward with the measure in the first half of 2016, according to the blog.

Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that would allow Metro to put the measure before voters in 2016 if the agency chooses.

Metro currently has five rail projects under construction, with two expected to open next year. To learn more about the agency's push to build more transit-rail, read this Progressive Railroading cover story from July.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/14/2015