Influential Service Employees union changes course, supports sales tax hike

Back in November, the union's political action committee recommended opposing the March ballot measure, which would push the sales tax from 9 percent to 9.5 percent. Labor groups typically campaign against higher sales taxes because they're regressive. But the LAT reports that Council President Herb Wesson, who is backing the proposal, spoke to a union meeting two weeks ago. Also, the city's budget chief, Miguel Santana, warned in a new report that the city could be forced to trim police and fire services if the measure doesn't pass next month. Now comes word that the SEIU is backing the measure. "Without it, we'd have more cuts and staffing shortages," said SEIU official Damon Bergeron. He's right - somehow the city has to cough up more than $200 million to balance the budget and raising the sales tax is probably the most efficient and practical answer. Of course, it does nothing to resolve out-of-control pension and health care costs - nor does it address the fundamentally flawed way in which local government is run. It's just another Band-Aid. By the way, the mayor has announced his support, but the city officials running for mayor (Perry, Greuel and Garcetti) are opposed, at least publicly.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
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How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
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Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent Campaign 2013 stories:
Shallman and Carrick on 'Which Way, LA?' tonight
Greuel consultant blames the LA Times
Morning Buzz: Friday 5.24.13
Campaign 2013 photo gallery by Gary Leonard
Election post-mortem in quotes (some very pointed)

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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.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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