Measures to raise the California sales tax (Proposition 30) and to extend the already-higher sales tax in Los Angeles County (Measure J) are up for a vote on the November 5 ballot. Now City Council President Herb Wesson is floating the idea of an additional half-cent sales tax increase within the city of Los Angeles to be voted on next March. He says the extra tax hike will be needed to raise $220 million a year and ease the budget pressures on City Hall.
Why Wesson would bring up such a politically explosive suggestion now is mysterious, and he compounds it by calling on his Council colleagues to set the process in motion tomorrow with final approval in mid-November. Says Carol Schatz, president of the Central City Association, which represents downtown businesses: “You don’t surprise a whole city with a sales tax proposal with less than 24 hours' notice. Something like that needs a lot of discussion and evaluation.”
If Prop. 30 passes and if Wesson's tax plan goes through, the sales tax in Los Angeles would be 9.5 percent if I'm reading things correctly. We currently pay 8.75 percent; many residents of California pay as low as 7.25 percent in sales tax now.