Los Angeles City Hall politics revealed from an insider's point of view.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Message to City Hall - Forget Parcel Tax, We Don't Trust You!

At yesterday's marathon Budget & Finance session Councilmember Bill Rosendahl proposed the idea of a parcel tax to bail the City out of the mess the Mayor and the Council have gotten into. According to Rosendahl, the tax would only last as long as necessary to cure the City's financial woes.

If this were any other city it would not be a bad idea. The problem for Los Angeles is that a parcel tax, in fact any tax, requires a 2/3 majority of voters to vote for the tax. In voting for the tax, voters would implicitly state that they trust their elected leaders to apply the tax fairly and only for as long as necessary.

Hell will freeze over before the residents of Los Angeles trust their elected leaders with a tax designed to cover up their irresponsible spending.

Los Angelenos have not forgotten at least two prior instances of 'taxes' where the City Council cheated, yes cheated, the residents.

First, of course, is the trash tax that was designed to buy us 1,000 cops. That tax had barely passed before reality came home and we found that City Hall's promise was hollow. The trash tax just gave the Council more General Fund money to spend on boondoggles like Mexican Book Fairs, or the Mayor's latest scam, $340,000 for bicycle riding lessons.

Second, there was the Phony Phone Tax, the one that promised to reduce phone taxes from 10% to 9.5%, when the original phone tax was illegally being collected 18 months after the tax had expired. In essence, we voted for a new tax of 9.5% instead of no tax at all, and arguably a refund.

Bill Rosendahl one hell of a nice guy, but Bill, you must be smoking too much of that 'medical' marijuana that you advocate if you seriously think 2/3 of voters will agree to trust you and your colleagues with more of our money.

While the Council claims it's in dire need of more money to avoid layoffs and cuts in basic services, the LA Times just reported that Mayor and the Council is sitting on a secret slush fund of $26.5M plus a further $10M (that's $36.5M) for 'special projects.' How come that money isn't being used to save the precious 1,000 jobs that the CAO says have to go?

Face it. It's over. Call the Bankruptcy attorneys and let's start to really sort your mess out. We don't trust you.

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