Mon07062015

Last updateThu, 02 Jul 2015 6pm

LOS ANGELES Monday, July 6th 2015 12:05

 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

LA’s $750 Million Time Bomb

LA WATCHDOG - On Monday, the California State Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that a class action lawsuit challenging the validity of the City’s Telephone Users’ Tax (“TUT”) could proceed, overruling previous lower court decisions.

According to the City’s Official Statement, Los Angeles’ liability could be up to $750 million, the amount of the TUT collected between the time federal law changed and the effective date of Proposition S, the Communications Users Tax, that was approved by 66% of the voters in March 2008.

To put this in the proper perspective, $750 million equals 17% of this year’s General Fund.


In October 2006, Estuardo Ardon filed a class action lawsuit challenging the legality of LA’s TUT and seeking refunds for Angelenos of taxes illegally collected by the City over the previous two years, ever since the demise of the federal telephone excise tax.

However, in December 2006, Mayor Villaraigosa and the City objected, arguing that individuals must each file a government claim, putting the interests of the all knowing City ahead of those of ordinary, hard working Angelenos.  

While the resolution of this issue will take years, the City is benefiting from the new 9% Communications Users Tax that is levied on telephones, cell phones, and other communication services. This new tax replaced the 10% TUT, but included other methods of communication other than just plain old telephones.

But ironically, while revenues for the CUT increased to $288 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, this year’s anticipated collections are projected to be only $243 million, a decrease of $45 million, or 15%, from its peak in 2009.  

Underlying the lower CUT revenues is a decline in the use of plain old telephones and increased competition in the wireless market, resulting in significantly lower prices.

But this $750 million liability is a big league problem that is not going to go away.  Rather, it will continue to fester and grow because of monstrous legal fees and interest expense on the outstanding balance.  And when payment is due, it will become a major crisis.  

While the Mayor will no doubt pontificate about the “devastating” impact of this potential judgment on the City and its ability to provide core services such as public safety, and throw many barbs at the plaintiff’s evil supporters, City Hall needs to address this issue NOW rather than its usual response of “kicking the can down the road.”

To fund this $750 million liability, the City will probably issue yet another Judgment Obligation Bond, much like it did in June 2010 when it raised $51 million to fund its past sins on the backs of tomorrow’s citizens.  

But this new Judgment Obligation Bond will be the mother of all judgment obligation bonds, costing Angelenos over $1 BILLION when you factor in the interest payments and legal fees. The annual hit to the General Fund will be over $100 million.

Ouch.  

And thanks, Antonio. We will enjoy paying off this debt long after you have departed City Hall.

Note: Friends of the plaintiff included a diverse group: The Utility Reform Network (San Francisco), the Utility Consumers’ Action Network (San Diego), the Tax Foundation, the Consumer Federation of California, Consumer Action, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at:     lajack@gmail.com )  –cw

Tags: California, State Supreme Court, Telephone Users Tax, liability, Los Angeles liability, Proposition S, Communications Users Tax, time bomb





CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 60
Pub: July 29, 2011

Share