Mayor Eric Garcetti stands with other celebrating current Measure H approval percentage. Photo via Twitter
Mayor Eric Garcetti stands with other celebrating current Measure H approval percentage. Photo via Twitter

You are going to pay more taxes to help the homeless in Los Angeles County.

Backers of Mesure H, a proposal on the March 7 ballot to hike sales taxes to raise money to fight homelessness, are declaring victory after the latest election results were released in a very tight race that took more than a week to tally.

Measure H, a quarter-cent Los Angeles County sales tax to fund anti-homelessness programs, maintained the two-thirds majority needed for approval in an updated ballot tally released Friday.

According to the updated figures, the measure has received 69.24 percent of the vote in the March 7 election, according to the county Registrar- Recorder/County Clerk’s office.

There are approximately 9,000 unprocessed provisional ballots left to be counted, the registrar’s office said, but Measure H’s lead is far enough ahead for its backers to declare victory.

“This is a historic victory, as Measure H will kick-start an unprecedented effort to fight and prevent homelessness, the defining civic issue of our time,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “Thanks to the generosity and compassion of the people of Los Angeles County, we now have the means to end this crisis.”

With all precincts reporting after the election, preliminary results released early March 8 showed Measure H with 67.44 percent of the vote, just ahead of the two-thirds majority it needed for approval. But with nearly 295,000 vote-by-mail, provisional and questioned ballots still left to be counted, it was unclear at the time if the measure would maintain the required percentage.

The final tally was expected to be released Monday and the election was expected to be certified on Tuesday.

The quarter-cent sales tax is projected to generate about $355 million annually for 10 years to fund a variety of programs to combat homelessness.

— City News Service

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