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:
Utility Bill Hikes Support Business Tax Cuts

Aug 17, 2015

Los Angeles City officials recently proposed to hike Department of Water and Power (DWP) bills. They say that they need money to improve the city’s crumbling water pipes and aging utility poles.

Yes, the infrastructure of Los Angeles, including its roads, is in dire need of upgrading, maintenance, and repairs. This is nothing new. Considerable sections of the water pipe system are more than 100 years old. In the past, the same officials many times increased city taxes and utility bills by beating the same drum of “we need repairs.” But they did not have these repairs done.

As for the recent DWP bill hike proposals, the scheming of these officials is crystal clear. DWP usually has a budget surplus every year. For example, last year’s budget surplus was 266 million dollars.

That is, DWP actually always has money for repairs. But this surplus is not spent on the urgently needed repairs. Instead, the city officials transfer this surplus to the general budget of the city, using the budgetary rules they created. If the utility rate hikes go into effect, this surplus money transfer could grow to $327 million by 2020.

At the same time, the city officials also want to cut “business taxes.” So, the city officials will rob us through utility hikes to enrich the already very rich!