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Los Angeles County Sales Tax for Transportation, Measure J (November 2012)

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A Los Angeles County Sales Tax for Transportation, Measure J ballot question was on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in Los Angeles County, where it was narrowly defeated.[1]

If Measure J had been approved, a one-half cent sales tax that was already being paid on the sales of goods and services in Los Angeles County would have continued for another 30 years. The one-half cent sales tax in effect at the time of the vote on Measure J was approved by voters in 2008 as Measure R. Measure R is set to expire in 2039.[1]

A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for approval, because in California, when a local sales tax measure is earmarked for a specific purpose (as is the case with Measure J), it requires a higher threshold for approval than local sales tax measures that are not earmarked for specific purposes.

Election results

Measure J
Defeatedd No970,61133.89%
Yes 1,893,340 66.11%
Final official results from the Los Angeles County elections office.


  • The editorial board of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune supported Measure J, writing, "Take a look at the congested freeways that wind through Los Angeles County. Motorists sit for hours to move a few miles during the morning commute. The agony continues on the way home. Even the weekends can be unbearable sometimes. That's why Los Angeles County voters should say 'yes' to Measure J, an extension of Measure R from 2008 that will expedite an array of highway improvements and light rail improvements - and do it for far less money."[2]


  • Los Angeles County supervisor Michael D. Antonovich voted against placing Measure J on the ballot. He said that if Measure J is approved, fares would increase. He also said it is false advertising because it will not fund any near-term projects.[1]

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure J: "To advance Los Angeles County's traffic relief, economic growth/ job creation, by accelerating construction of light rail/ subway/ airport connections within five years not twenty; funding countywide freeway traffic flow/ safety /bridge improvements, pothole repair; keeping senior/ student/ disabled fares low; Shall Los Angeles County's voter-approved one-half cent traffic relief sales tax continue, without tax rate increase, for another 30 years or until voters decide to end it, with audits/ keeping funds local?"[3]

See also