Villaraigosa to back sales tax hike on ballot

Thumbnail image for beck-villaraigosa-occupynight.jpgSupporters of Measure A on the March 5 ballot say that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will take part in a Monday news conference announcing support for the sales tax increase. If Measure A passes, people who buy things in Los Angeles (and only within the city limits of Los Angeles) will pay a half-cent more in sales tax for every dollar spent. The supporters say that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and LAFD Chief Brian Cummings will take part in the Monday presser to be held at Cedars-Sinai. They will bill the measure as supporting public safety. City Council president Herb Wesson proposed the sales tax hike and got the council to put it on the ballot.

David Zahniser in the LA Times points out that Vilaraigosa came into office strongly opposing a sales tax hike for police hiring proposed by his predecessor, Jim Hahn.

In 2005, Villaraigosa — then seeking to unseat Mayor James Hahn — blocked Hahn's effort to place a sales tax increase on the ballot to pay for 1,000 more officers. That vote came at a time of intense debate over how to pay for an expansion of the LAPD.

Villaraigosa promised to find another way to pay for 1,000 additional officers and succeed where Hahn failed.

As mayor, Villaraigosa convinced the City Council to triple the trash fee for homeowners from $11 to $36.32 per month, saying that the proceeds would pay for more police.

Now, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana is saying that Measure A's defeat could require cutting at least 500 police officers. Also: LA Weekly

File photo of Beck and Villaraigosa

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