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L.A. County Board of Supervisors votes to put homelessness measure on November ballot

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to place a measure on the November ballot that would increase the county quarter-cent sales tax for to raise funds for homelessness prevention measures.

It will be up to voters to decide on replacing the quarter-cent tax with an indefinite increase of a half-cent sales tax for the same purpose.

Voters passed Measure H in 2017, which approved the county quarter-cent sales tax.

Supporters of the new measure said they submitted more than 410,000 petition signatures, well above the required 238,922.

The ballot measure would repeal Measure H and replace it with the half-cent sales tax, earmarking revenue to address homelessness. Measure H had a 10-year lifespan and was set to expire in 2027.

Those supporting the new initiative say the extra funds would be game-changing for the county's homelessness crisis, as it would generate $1.2 billion annually.

Supporters say the funds would be used to build more affordable housing, increase access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, and to bolster accountability measures, including a legal requirement to deliver results. 

The proposed ballot measure notes that 60% of the revenue would cover costs for homelessness services and 15% of that amount would be distributed to cities based on the annual point-in-time count of homeless people. Another 35.75% would support the L.A. County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency, which was created last year by the state Legislature. 

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