Feb 2, 2015
The budget committee of the Los Angeles City Council approved a business tax cut proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. If the City Council also approves it, L.A. will drop the business tax by 16 per cent, from $5.07 for each $1000 of receipts to $4.25, by 2018.
The officials who want to give this 45-million-dollar gift to business are the same officials who say the city has a 242-million-dollar budget shortfall, and demand cuts from city workers. In ongoing negotiations, the city is demanding that the workers pay 10 percent toward their health insurance costs. City officials have also targeted city workers’ pensions. In 2012, the city council unilaterally reduced the pensions of its civilian workers – a move that was ruled illegal by the Employee Relations Board. Officials complain that the city’s pension funds are short by billions of dollars; but that’s only because, year after year, they themselves did not put the city’s contributions into the funds!
In recent years, city officials laid off workers, cut back on services, and increased the sales tax. They also increased the penalties on parking tickets – which is another tax and, like sales tax, is one that burdens the working class and poor but not the wealthy.
At the same time, the City of L.A. pays hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to Wall Street banks every year – $204 million in 2013 alone, more than what the city spent on needed road repairs that same year.
So city officials cut city workers’ pay and benefits; they cut services the city provides; they increase the taxes on working people – all so that they can hand more money to big companies and banks!