Everyone is talking about this election.
Races for president, Congress, propositions, local council and High School Board positions are all getting much attention.
Currently, over 14 million have already voted, nationally, crushing historical data about early voting in past elections. This focus is certainly warranted.
However, there are two measures on the ballot that could possibly mean more to Antelope Valley residents than all of the other races.
Lancaster Measure LC and Palmdale Measure AV are on the ballot. These measures are intended to raise sales tax .75% and retain local control of the money from that increase. While state and county resources provide much to the AV, many critical services are paid for by the cities.
Public safety, parks and recreation programs, street maintenance, senior and veteran support and more are the responsibility of local government.
Now, add to that list, a local collapse of tax revenue as a result of the pandemic, and you can see the need for both measures.
Some may see these measures as a grab for more money. However, local control of the money is crucial.
Why collect more just to give it back to the county and state? Measure H, passed by LA County in 2017, requires Palmdale to contribute $4.25 million annually, while receiving back only $160,000.
That’s less than 4%. Obviously, no one is clamoring for higher taxes.
However, as citizens, there are times when decisions for the greater good are required. This is one of those times.
A .75% increase is modest, yet necessary to continue city services and our lifestyle.
We all saw in the 2008 downturn what can happen to our local services when the economy takes a turn for the worse.
Local officials say this may be our last chance to garner more funds for our community. Sales tax rates are limited by law to 10.25%.
The prevailing notion locally, is that the county will put a .75% increase on sales tax on the 2022 ballot. If that passes, the Antelope Valley will continue to receive a small percentage of funds from the increase in tax revenue.
With rates being limited to 10.25%, we would never be able to increase the rate and more importantly, we will never be able to receive our fair share of funds.
The history of the AV is full of discord between our two communities of Palmdale and Lancaster.
However, this appears to be an issue that unites local officials and should unite all residents.
Vote yes on Measures LC and AV to increase and keep our sales tax revenue here at home.