Appearing before the City Council this morning, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana was pushing for higher tax revenues that would help shrink L.A.'s budget deficit (projected at $222 million next year). The two areas that he's proposing - doubling the property transfer tax and increasing the parking tax - would generate $140 million. But they would also require voter approval. From the City Maven:
"Given the projected deficits that we're facing, we think it's very difficult -- actually, we think it's impossible -- to maintain the same level of service, particularly in public safety which takes up 70 percent of our General Fund discretionary dollars, without new revenue," Santana said. "The biggest risk to the city without new revenue is public safety -- your number one priority and the public's number one priority."
The mayor delivers his State of the City address tomorrow at 5, and it's possible that he'll outline these proposed tax increases. One area that's worth exploring: The effect, both direct and indirect, that cost-cutting already has had on police and fire services.