Stocks slide: Some concern about Europe, but it's still mostly the dog days. Dow is down 70 points.
Recession warning: The Congressional Budget Office is predicting a a deep recession next year unless Congress avoids nearly $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts. From the Washington Post:
The massive round of New Year's belt-tightening - variously known as the fiscal cliff or Taxmageddon - would disrupt recent economic progress, push the unemployment rate back up to 9.1 percent by the end of 2013 and cause economic conditions "that will probably be considered a recession," the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said. The outlook is considerably darker than the forecast the agency released in January, when CBO predicted that the fiscal cliff would trigger a modest recession in the first half of 2013, followed by a quick recovery.
No change in gas prices: Average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is still stuck at $4.11, according to the Auto Club.
Council considers tax hikes: One would increase the city's documentary transfer tax to $9 for every $1,000 of a property's sale value. Another would raise the parking tax to 15 percent from 10 percent. From the Daily News:
Increasing the documentary transfer tax from $4.50 per $1,000 of the home's value at the time of sale to $9 per $1,000 would bring in an extra $100million. Increasing the parking tax from 10percent to 15 percent would bring in another $45 million. "I want to remind you of the difficult choices you have made over the last several years," [said budget director Miguel] Santana. "The allegations the city has deferred or resisted any real change are simply not true. "We have reduced the work force to its lowest levels since Tom Bradley was mayor. We have laid off workers and we have eliminated departments. The only way of addressing our deficit is by bringing in new revenue." Over the past five years, Santana said the city has made more than $1 billion in reductions without any new revenue to help finance programs.
Pension reform?: The council will consider proposals to raise the retirement age and require that new workers contribute more to the system. Union leaders are resisting. (Daily News)
Retail development near USC on hold: The proposed $1.1-billion makeover of University Village shopping center - in the works for nine years - is being opposed by community groups because the housing component isn't large enough. The council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee deferred action. (LAT)
Big box ban? The Planning and Land Use Management Committee voted 2-1 for a temporary ban on large retail chain stores opening downtown. The proposal, which goes to the council, would not affect Walmart's planned store in Chinatown. (LAT)