Campaign 2013

Sales tax measure splits City Hall

city-hall-from-lat.jpgRick Orlov in the Daily News looks at the lineup of ballot argument signers for the City Council's proposed sales tax increase. Voters will decide on the measure, which would help the council balance its budget by raising the sales tax within the city of Los Angeles to 9.5 percent, in the March 5 election. Orlov says in his Monday Tipoff column that Measure A is pitting City Council members against each other and complicating things for unions.

In ballot arguments on Proposition A, Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Joe Buscaino signed on as supporters of the measure - along with Police Chief Charlie Beck and Fire Chief Brian Cummings.

Opposing the measure are council members Jan Perry and Bernard Parks, along with former Mayor Richard Riordan, mayoral candidate Kevin James and controller candidate Cary Brazeman for the argument written by activist Jack Humphreville.

Drawing some of the most interest is that Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, went against the recommendation of the political committee of SEIU, Local 721, which voted to oppose the measure.

Durazo is a close ally of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has not taken a position on the sales tax and leaves office next year, as well as several City Council members, who will be in office for years to come.

Council President Herb Wesson, who first proposed the sales tax increase, said Durazo's support is important.

"We're trying to build a strong base of support," Wesson said. "Her (backing) helps us with that."

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