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Election 2012: California locales to decide on tax increases
By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

Multiple communities in the Oakland and Los Angeles areas will decide Nov. 6 whether to boost sales tax rates to benefit various sources, including transportation.

Two Contra Costa County locales will ask voters whether to charge a little more for local purchases to help fix roads.

Ballots in the city of Moraga will include a question on whether to add a one-cent sales tax for the next 20 years. The increase sought through Measure K on the ballot would raise the tax rate on certain purchases from 8.25 percent to 9.25 percent to benefit local streets and other general town services.

The sales tax increase would not be applied to food, prescription drugs, professional services and rent.

Supporters say the tax increase would help the city of 16,000 address necessary road and street maintenance that is estimated at $25 million. They also refer to a finding that Moraga’s streets and roads rank 93rd out of 109 cities in the Bay Area.

The tax increase is estimated to raise $1 million annually.

In nearby Orinda, voters can decide on a half-cent sales tax on the purchase of goods and services. The increase would aid road repairs.

Measure L is estimated to raise about $500,000 next year – an amount that will increase annually and generate about $6.7 million during the next decade.

Down the California coast in Los Angeles County three communities will cast ballots on increasing the local sales tax rate.

La Mirada voters will decide on a one cent sales tax increase that is supposed to be applied to roads. Specifically, revenue would be routed to the city’s general fund for the intended purpose of helping fix roads in the community of 48,800 people.

If approved, Measure I would increase the tax rate from 8.75 percent to 9.75 percent. It is estimated to raise about $5 million during the next five years.

Voters in Culver City will decide on a decade-long half-cent sales tax increase on goods and services in the town of 39,000. Measure Y would benefit police, fire, streets and more.

Ballots in the city of Commerce will include a question about a one-half cent sales tax increase. If approved, the additional revenue from Measure AA would benefit such sources that include road repair and maintenance.

For more 2012 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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