L.A. County stormwater tax officially passes

Construction on a drainage system in 2017 at Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Kagel Canyon Street in Sun Valley, an area prone to street flooding in stormy weather.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

A property tax projected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars annually to capture and clean up stormwater secured enough votes in this month’s election to pass, according to certified election results released Friday.

Measure W, a parcel tax of 2.5 cents a square foot of “impermeable space,” earned 69.45% of the vote after all ballots had been processed and counted.

It needed approval by a two-thirds majority to pass.

The tax, which had been in the works for two years, will help cities across Los Angeles County meet their obligations under the federal Clean Water Act and associated permits given out by the state. Supporters said it would also help make the region more “water resilient” in the face of drought and climate change.


Revenue generated from Measure W will be used to pay for regional and municipal projects that improve water quality and may also increase water supply and provide community benefits such as parks or wetlands. Ten percent of the revenue will go to the L.A. County Flood Control District for administration.

The tax will be imposed beginning in the county’s next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

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