LA WATCHDOG--According to the Sacramento Bee, Mayor Eric Garcetti strongly supports the Split Roll ballot measure that would value business properties at market value as opposed to the current practice under Proposition 13 which assesses the value based on the purchase price (plus 2% a year appreciation).
If this constitutional amendment to modify Prop 13 is approved by a majority of the voters, taxes on business throughout the State will increase by an estimated $10 billion, a cost that will be passed along to all Californians through higher prices.
If approved by the voters in November of 2020, the City would be eligible to receive an estimated $250 million. This windfall would allow to cover the recently disclosed budget busting raises for the City’s employees that were negotiated behind closed doors with the campaign funding leaders of the City’s public sector unions and ramrodded through the Herb Wesson led City Council without any discussion and approved by Garcetti.
As was outlined in a previous article, Budget Lies & Liars, Garcetti’s balanced budget of April is now $200 million in the red. And even more frightening, the projected budget surpluses for the next four years have turned into deficits “ranging from $200 million to $400 million per year.”
These deficits are inexcusable since the City is experiencing record revenues that are up $2 billion, or 44%, since Garcetti was elected mayor. And these deficits fly in the face of Garcetti’s Back to Basics campaign pledge that the City would “Live Within Its Financial Means.”
Garcetti, the political establishment, and the leaders of the public sector unions will spend millions to qualify the Split Roll for the ballot and to reach out to voters. They will argue that it will eliminate corporate loopholes, restore local services, and provide desperately needed financing for our K-12 schools and community colleges.
But will they tell us that we are one of the highest, if not the highest, taxed states in the nation, where the state and local governments and agencies hit us for numerous fees and taxes. Think of the outrageous fees payable to the dysfunctional Department of Motor Vehicles or the 8% Transfer Fee and 10% Utility Tax levied by the City through our Department of Water and Power.
And will they tell us that Angelenos rejected Measure EE, LAUSD’s $500 million parcel tax designed to finance unaffordable and irresponsible union raises and ever increasing pension contributions.
The less than transparent Garcetti has orchestrated budget busting increases for the City’s employees and LAUSD’s teachers, relying on “leaps of faith” financing that are attempts to extort the voters by holding City services and students as hostages.
We cannot reward our fiscally irresponsible mayor for bad behavior. And while the ballot measure is a year away, vote NO on the Split Roll.
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.)