Council raises parking fees, exempts new car dealers from taxes

toyota2.jpgA curious push-pull at today's session in which members voted to raise revenues - as well as eliminate revenues. First the raising: the City Council approved a measure to increase the fines on expired parking meters to $63; red zone parking to $93, and street sweep violations to $73. They're all $5 increases. Also going up is admission to the zoo. All told, the increases should provide an extra $8.4 million for the city's general fund budget. From the LAT:

Councilman Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor, defended the parking ticket increases, saying they would help the city "stay on track" financially. So did Councilwoman Jan Perry, another mayoral candidate. "We need more revenue," she said. The push for higher parking fines drew criticism from Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, which advocates on behalf of renters and low-income families. He said working-class families would struggle to pay off their parking fines, which are higher than in any neighboring city.

The Council then proceeded to exempt new car dealerships from paying L.A.'s gross receipts tax - a move that proponents say will encourage more dealers to relocate to the city and in turn increase sales tax dollars. (Here's the KPCC story.) Last year, auto dealerships generated $3.6 million in gross receipts taxes. Will that tax money be made up? Who knows? What about other businesses in the city that are still stuck paying the gross receipts tax? Tough luck. Seems like an odd way to manage a city: Penalize certain groups while awarding others - all under hazy economic rationales.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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