The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday agreed to ask voters for a half-cent boost in the sales tax, designed to raise up to $40 billion for highway and transit projects. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the 9-2 vote by the MTA is "indicative of the desperation that those who use our public transportation systems and highways feel." If approved by two-thirds of voters in November, the higher sales tax would fund 13 mass transit projects and 16 road projects.

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