LA to pursue 'millionaires tax' to help support homeless

Supervisors of Los Angeles County voted Tuesday to pursue a bill that would allow them to impose a "millionaires tax" on California's wealthy to finance housing and services for the homeless, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas (D) and Sheila Kuehl (D) proposed lobbying the state for laws that would grant the county authority to launch a new tax on personal income over $1 million per year to fund support services for the homeless.

The proposal would need to receive two-thirds approval by voters before it could take effect, but because the county cannot legally increase income taxes, it would require a change in state law, according to the report.

A recent L.A. County-commissioned poll found that voters were most supportive of the millionaires tax option (76 percent) compared with other possible funding measures for the November ballot. It is estimated the millionaires tax would raise $243 million per year.

In the Tuesday meeting, supervisors also approved a separate proposal to evaluate the nearly $1 billion L.A. spends per year on other programs aimed at reducing homelessness to see how the system can improve them. These programs include emergency medical care, mental health treatment, cash assistance and incarceration, according to the report.

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