Six months ago, the Board of Supervisors approved a historically unprecedented plan to end homelessness in LA County. Today, the Board moved to create a sustainable revenue source to implement that plan.

After considering four revenue options and listening to public comment from more than 100 members of the public, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to place a special marijuana tax on the November ballot that would raise revenue dedicated to services for homelessness.  The tax is projected to generate between $78 and $130 million annually and will require a vote of two-thirds of the electorate. (The tax is predicated on voters passing The Adult Use of Marijuana Act Initiative, a state measure that seeks to legalize recreational marijuana that will also be on the November ballot.)

“I am delighted that the Board has taken a step forward today to address homelessness. I supported the sales tax, as well as both general and special taxes on marijuana, and I believe we moved forward with our most viable ballot option for this November’s ballot without delaying it until the March 2017 ballot. I feel that the special tax on marijuana sales will be an effective revenue source as we work to achieve our goal of ending homelessness. As we move forward, we will work with our County departments on enforcement and regulation, as well as prevention and education for our children and youth,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.

Supervisor Kuehl said, “This Board has shown its resolve to end LA’s homeless crisis. We are six months into the successful implementation of the County’s historic 47-strategy plan to end homelessness. Today, we took a major step toward identifying a sustainable source of funding to pay for the housing and support services needed to fully implement that plan and house the 47,000 men, women and children who are homeless today.”

Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors allocated $150 million, including $100 million in new spending, toward comprehensive services and housing options for the homeless. If the proposed tax passes in November, it will create a substantial, sustained revenue source that will support mental health/substance abuse treatment; prevention/outreach/crisis services; rapid-re-housing;  housing rehabilitation and construction; and other services.

The County measure has been designed to complement the LA City Council’s recent decision to ask voters to authorize a $1.2 billion bond to support housing for homeless men, women and families, and the state’s No Place Like Home $2 billion bond measure to construct permanent, supportive housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2016

CONTACT: Katie Martel, Communications Deputy, 213-309-8628 or kmartel@bos.lacounty.gov