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Mayor Villaraigosa Supports Half-Cent Tax Measure

Proposed half-cent tax measure will deal with estimated $216 million budget-deficient LA.

A City of Los Angeles Sales Tax Increase, Proposition LA-A will be up for voting on the March 5 citywide ballot. 

Mayor Villaraigosa publicly supported half-cent tax measure Monday (ATVN/Tina Guitierrez)
Mayor Villaraigosa publicly supported half-cent tax measure Monday (ATVN/Tina Guitierrez)

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Councilmen Herb Wesson and Paul Koretz and other city leaders to support this proposition Monday morning.

"There's nobody that lives in this town that hasn't seen the transformation of Downtown and Hollywood, and that's a fact," Villaraigosa said.

"It's partly because we're safe; its partly because we've made investments; it's because we've done everything we can to attract business and that's why I'm supporting this sales tax."

Since Juanuary 1, the sales tax has been 9 percent due to the Proposition 30 sales tax increase, it will become 9.5 percent if Proposition A is approved.

Los Angeles estimates a $216 million budget deficit starting July 1 and the tax increase is proposed to deal with the new fiscal year. The new tax increase would result in an additional $215 million a year for the city's general fund if passed by LA voters.

Opponents against Proposition A feel authorities should focus on decreasing the budget for personal expenses instead of scaring residents into thinking they'll have less public safety measures if they proposition is not passed.

"They're trying to scare the hell out of us by threatening basic public safety. Yet they're not controlling the largest cost factor, which is personnel expenses," said Jack Humphreville, who signed the ballot against Proposition A.

Several mayoral candidates have also expressed opposition to the tax hike, stating that the government should not tax citizens before doing everything else they can first. Opposing candidates include Jan Perry, Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel and Kevin James.

If approved by voters, the sales tax in Los Angeles will increase by a half-cent on goods and services purchased whithin the city.

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