Los Angeles will use a sales tax increase to fund public transit and affordable housing.

Last Tuesday, Los Angeles voted to expand its public transit infrastructure, promote affordable housing, allow higher-density development, and expand services for the homeless – all against the very vocal wishes of the city’s NIMBY groups.

The newly-passed Measure M will fund public transit with a half-cent sales tax, while Measures HHH and JJJ will provide homeless housing and dense development funding, again with a sales tax increase. Voters also rejected Proposition 53 and Measure LV, which would have forced several large-scale transportation projects into referendum.

The Coalition to Preserve L.A. is aiming to restrict denser development with a local ballot measure set to go before voters in March, but current polls demonstrate strong opposition to the measure among voters. "I think they’re loud people, but they’re not as politically powerful or numerous as we sometimes think," says Shane Phillips, an urban planner. "Ultimately, people still want things like affordable housing and are willing to make some trades for it."

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