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U.S. SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO HEAR METRO RED LINE BENEFIT ASSESSMENT CASE

 U.S. SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO HEAR
 METRO RED LINE BENEFIT ASSESSMENT CASE
 LOS ANGELES, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Supreme Court June 30 unanimously announced its refusal to hear a petition regarding the RTD's Benefit Assessment District which was set up in 1987 to help pay for building the Metro Red Line train system in downtown Los Angeles.
 The court's action supports a California Supreme Court decision earlier this year which validated the RTD assessment district.
 "By declining to hear the case, the U.S. Supreme Court has validated the argument that mass transit will increase property values and business for commercial property owners located near subway stations in Los Angeles, as has been the case in other major cities in the United States," said Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, who is a member of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC).
 "This important ruling means that those who benefit most, the commercial property owners near Metro Red Line stations, will be assessed to help pay for the cost of the system," said Marvin Holen, RTD board president. "This is only equitable in that millions in tax dollars will create an enormous benefit to them."
 The Supreme Court's action clears the path for RTD to proceed with collecting the remaining 9 percent of the $1.45 billion projected cost of the first phase of the Red Line project.
 "The Supreme Court apparently agreed with the California Supreme Court that the Legislature did it right, and the RTD did it right," Holen said.
 "In this era of private-government cooperation in public projects, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark decision. This financing system will be of paramount importance in making the Red Line a reality."
 Holen said that no determination has been made on when to resume assessment of property owners. He noted that the RTD collected only one assessment, in 1986-87, totaling approximately $19 million before the RTD board decided to collect no further assessments pending the start of service on the line.
 RTD's original benefit assessment projections called for the assessment districts to generate $130.3 million to help defray the construction cost of the system.
 The first phase of the Red Line includes five stations and 4.4 miles of track stretching from Union Station to MacArthur Park. Construction of the system began in September 1986 and is scheduled for completion in March 1993.
 The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission assumed control of rail system construction in July 1990, but RTD retains the sole statutory authority for the collection of benefit assessments.
 -0- 6/30/92
 /CONTACT: Greg Davy or Jim Smart of RTD, 213-972-4400/ CO: Southern California Rapid Transit District; Los Angeles
 Transportation Commission ST: California IN: SU:


KJ-EH -- LA025 -- 5428 06/30/92 20:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 30, 1992
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