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Los Angeles County Eyes Cannabis Tax Revenue To Fight Homelessness

Los Angeles' housing problems are well-documented: as many as 254,000 people experience homelessness in the county every year: 4,800 to 10,000 of those are minors, especially in the Hollywood area. The homelessness crisis in the city is so severe that last year, mayor Eric Garcetti and members of the Los Angeles City Council declared the inadequacy of shelter space a state of emergency.

On July 12, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to put on the November ballot a special marijuana business tax of up to 10 percent of gross receipts - and put that tax revenue toward fighting LA's homelessness crisis.

Naturally, LA County voters first need to pass a separate ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana before voting on how the tax revenue will be spent.

Previously, LA County had considered a half-percent tax on personal income over $1-million, which would have raised a projected $243-million per year for anti-homelessness initiatives.

According to estimates from county authorities, Los Angeles needs $450-million in annual funding to effectively fight homelessness in the region, of which the proposed tax on recreational marijuana could raise between $78-130 million.


Banner image: Los Angeles, CA, USA . January 16, 2016: Hollywood Walk of Fame homeless man on the street, sidewalk, (Ivan dan /


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