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Would you pay $33.33 to fund the 'Subway to the Sea?'

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Steve Hymon at the LA Times is asking if anyone out there has any ideas for funding the 'subway to the sea', which is estimated to cost around $5-billion. The scary thing about even just $1-billion is that it equals out to one thousand x one million. So to fund the Purple Line, you've got to dole out $1-million dollars five-thousand times over. Eek!

So here is one crazy idea:

Sure, simple math dictates that 4-million people (roughly the population of Los Angeles) being taxed a one-time fee of $1250 solves the problem. But that's unrealistic for many reasons. So what about breaking it down to something realistic, even if overly simplistic? Spread it out to a 10-year tax and you've got $125/year. 25 years is $50/year. And rudimentary math proves $25 a year per resident means 50 years.

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If we are still funding or paying money back for the Purple Line in 50 years, I'm going to shoot myself. Therefore, I'm scratching that idea out of existence.

But wait! Let's freak out people in Claremont, Palmdale and Gorman and say we are going to tax the whole County of Los Angeles, a population near ten million. A one time fee of $500 per resident adds up to $5-billion. Still, that's unreasonable, especially when these population numbers include 6-year-olds. Yet, over 25-years, for ten million people to raise $5-billion, it takes $20 per year, per resident (At this point, Gorman is going to be so angry they never annexed over to Kern County).

Now it gets better. Since people flock LA County from surrounding counties adding to the traffic problem, let's piss them off too. Orange County, population three million, and Riverside County, population two million. At 15-million people paying into the pot for 10 years, that's $33.33 a year* to raise the money needed to fund the Purple Line.

So how does one sell this to the people? First, you gotta be a believer in the butterfly effect and explain how relieving the most congested street corridor in the United States impact traffic hundreds of miles away. And, well, I'll leave that one to the politicians.

*We do realize that even this amount can be detrimental to some income levels, especially when considering large families and children.

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist

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