Proposition L: Library Funds

When The Times supported Proposition L in its editorial ("Libraries: Yes on L," Oct. 28), you did not have the full story as to the impact of Proposition L. The facts are:

A portion of the $90 million in Proposition L will be used to retrofit some old libraries and make them earthquake proof. That is good. The hidden part of Proposition L is $36.6 million which will be used to complete the construction of the Central Library.

What Proposition L does not tell you is that the Community Redevelopment Agency and the city of Los Angeles together will spend $176.9 million of taxpayers' money to rebuild the Central Library and then the Community Redevelopment Agency, the City Council and the mayor plan to sell the library to a private developer for $25 million so that the private developer can get a 25-year tax write-off on the Central Library. The city will have to pay rent to the private developer for at least 10 of those 25 years, and at the end of the 25 years, the city will have to pay $110 million to repurchase the library if it wants it back.

This is known as a sale lease-back plan which is totally irresponsible. What the city officials fail to realize is that the taxpayers are not stupid and will not approve this financing gimmick program, which is really a double-taxation scheme. Paying for the library once through property taxes is enough. To be forced to pay $110 million in 25 years to buy it back is too much.

The Central Library rightfully belongs to the people--now and forever.

This whole financing plan is nothing more than a slick gimmick, and I urge voters to vote No.

I will only support Proposition L if Mayor Tom Bradley and the Los Angeles City Council will pledge to the citizens of Los Angeles that they will not sell the Central Library after it is rebuilt.


Councilman, 10th District

Los Angeles

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