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Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Following the announcement of a six percent increase in the homeless population, Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl are planning to ask the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to seek authority for a potential ballot measure that would raise funding needed to address the crisis.

The Board has been weighing options for raising the money needed to pay for programs to help the homeless, including a parcel tax, marijuana tax, transaction and use tax, redirection of Measure B revenue, and a tax on personal income exceeding $1 million per year.

In order to preserve the last option, an amendment to State law is necessary. Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Kuehl’s motion directs the Board to “pursue a change in State law to grant counties the authority to seek voter approval of a tax on personal income above $1 million/year to combat homelessness.”

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s 2016 Homeless Count, 46,874 people are homeless on any given night in Los Angeles County – a 6 percent increase from last year.

It also found an 11 percent increase in the number of homeless persons living on the streets, in tents, encampments and vehicles. Though comprising only 9 percent of the general population, African-Americans accounted for almost 39 percent of the homeless population, based on the Homeless Count.

On a positive note, the number of homeless veterans dropped by 30 percent, and there are 18 percent fewer homeless persons among families with children.

“These results demonstrate that much more work remains to be done to address homeless persons living on the streets, who may have chronic health and mental issues and may benefit from affordable housing coupled with intensive home- and community-based supportive services,” Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Kuehl said.

“The LAHSA data also clearly demonstrate the efficacy of increased, coordinated and targeted investments for homeless veterans and homeless families,” they added. “Without increased and targeted investments, the tremendous progress in reducing the number of homeless veterans and homeless families would not have occurred.”

The public has expressed concern about the crisis, and a willingness to contribute to the solution. A County-sponsored poll released in April found 68 percent of likely voters would support a sales tax increase to fund programs for the homeless. An even larger number, 76 percent, would back a tax increase on incomes exceeding $1 million.

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1 Comment

  1. Jim Shorts says:

    Of course 76% would approve a tax on incomes over a million. Because that same 76% are low wage earners and they think the ‘rich’ should be paying for everything. You would be crazy to vote for even 1 penny of new taxes. The county has more then enough money to deal with this. They are just a typical government entity that does not know how to spend efficiently. Their solution is always more money from your pocket. My prediction: the more money that is available the more homelessness there will be. How many people voluntarily get off of welfare?

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Friday, Jun 18, 2021
On Friday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed nine new deaths and 253 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 28,101 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021
Los Angeles County Workforce Development Aging and Community Services is spreading awareness during World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) by sharing ways the community can help.
Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021
As California’s COVID-19 case rates have fallen to among the lowest in the country and almost 19 million Californians are fully vaccinated, the state is moving 'Beyond the Blueprint' to fully reopen its economy and end many pandemic-era restrictions, announced California Department of Public Health officials. In addition, Los Angeles County Public Health noted the current guidelines vaccinated and unvaccinated County residents are to follow as restrictions relax and the economy reopens.
Monday, Jun 14, 2021
Nearly 18 months after the first health officer order was issued for COVID-19, California’s stay-at-home order will expire Tuesday as the economy fully reopens.
Monday, Jun 14, 2021
On Monday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed two new deaths and 135 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 28,053 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.

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