The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

California Elections:
A Barrage of Tax Increases

Nov 12, 2018

Nearly a dozen cities in Los Angeles County placed sales tax increases on the November 7 ballot. And city officials were joined by several local school boards, who put their own bond measures and property parcel taxes on the ballot.

Since Los Angeles County also put a parcel tax on the ballot to clean up and recycle stormwater, voters in some cities were faced with three tax increases on the same ballot. And these tax increases come on top of similar increases in recent years–the sales tax increases, for example, will bring the sales tax to 10% or more in the cities in question.

It’s the usual extortion by officials, who give voters the “choice” of paying more taxes or not having essential city services.

Officials say they don’t have a choice because the state has reduced its funding–despite an 8.8-billion-dollar surplus in the last state budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in May. Brown said he would keep 7.6 billion dollars, or 86 percent, of the surplus in reserve for a “rainy day”! But city and school district leaders play the same kind of game themselves. Ongoing negotiations between the Los Angeles School District and the L.A. teachers’ union, for example, revealed that the district is sitting on 1.9 billion dollars in cash reserves, while telling teachers it does not have enough money for reducing class size and giving teachers adequate raises.

The “rainy day” these state, city and school officials talk about is the day when they will hand those cash reserves to big corporations in overpriced contracts, subsidies and tax cuts. And it’s working-class people who pay for these handouts, in higher taxes and cuts in the services they depend on.