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

Los Angeles:
The Mayor Proposes Garbage Tax Hike

Apr 24, 2006

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed raising trash-collection fees from $11 to $28 a month–a 155% increase–within the next four years. While the tax increase is supposed to be for single homes and small apartment buildings, it will certainly affect all renters through increases in rent.

The mayor says the money raised will be used to hire more than one thousand new cops. In other words, this is nothing but a back-door attempt to impose on city residents the same police tax that they turned down not so long ago. A ballot measure to increase the county sales tax in order to hire more cops was rejected in November 2004. The measure was especially unpopular in working-class neighborhoods with a large black population, where random police harassment of residents is an everyday occurrence.

But this proposal is only one part of a major tax increase offensive by city politicians. Two city councilmen are proposing a 1.5-billion-dollar bond measure to repave and repair streets. And the mayor, together with City Council President Eric Garcetti, is planning to put a one-billion-dollar bond measure for housing on the November ballot. The street repair bond measure alone would raise property taxes an average $2,000 over 20 years.

These politicians say the tax increases are necessary for maintaining city services because the city budget is 270 million dollars in the hole.

Wonder why there is such a big gap in the budget? Ask the politicians themselves! They are the ones who hand out all those lucrative contracts and subsidies to big corporations. Not to mention that across-the-board, 15% business tax cut that the same City Council unanimously voted just one and a half years ago!