Marvin Crist

Most are familiar with the image of Lucy holding a football for Charlie Brown.  

As Charlie runs to kick the  ball, Lucy pulls it away at the last minute, causing Charlie to fall on his backside.  Again and again, Lucy convinces Charlie that next time will be different, but it never is. Charlie continues to believe her and he continues to fall. At some point, the responsibility for being gullible and the need for change, falls on Charlie Brown.

With apologies to Charles Schulz, this lesson in futility is analogous to the Antelope Valley’s relationship with the County of Los Angeles and State of California. Every time the AV provides more taxes to the county or state and expects a fair return in essential services or needed infrastructure, we are like Charlie believing this time will be different. It never has been and never will be. A yes vote on Measure LC and Measure AV will finally begin to change this in favor of the Antelope Valley.

A few facts: Our current sales tax rate is 9.5%. Of that, the state receives 6%, the county receives 2.5% and Lancaster and Palmdale each receive only 1%.  However, most of the critical services in the AV, including public safety, parks and recreation programs, street maintenance, economic development, youth services and support for veterans and seniors, are funded by the cities.  

The AV receives back only about 25 cents on every dollar we send the county. State law limits the maximum sales tax rate to 10.25%. Based on history, the county will undoubtedly place a .75% sales tax measure on the 2022 ballot and it will most assuredly pass.   

The choice for this Valley is clear. Either we pass both Measures LC and AV on Nov. 3 and keep all of those funds here under local control with strict safeguards, or we let the county take those same funds out of the AV in 2022, with predictable results.  

Because of the sales tax limit, we will never get this chance again. That is why 42 cities in LA County already have local sales tax measures to avoid this fate.

Need more? In 2017, the county passed Measure H, a sales tax measure to address homelessness countywide. Palmdale contributes $4.625 million annually through Measure H, yet Palmdale receives back only $160,000 each year. Worse yet, cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach receive Measure H funding but pay nothing, because they already have a local sales tax.

Vote yes on Measure LC and Measure AV and lets finally take the ball back.

 

Marvin Crist is vice mayor for the City of Lancaster.

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