Southern California breaking news and trends

Tax break approved for car dealerships in Los Angeles

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Susan Valot/KPCC

Car dealerships will now be exempt from paying Los Angeles' gross receipts tax under a plan approved today by the Los Angeles City Council.

Car dealerships that sell new vehicles will be exempt from paying the city of Los Angeles’ business tax under a plan intended to bring back sales from neighboring municipalities.

The gross receipts tax, which businesses must pay regardless of profit, will be waived for dealerships that sell new cars, regardless of whether those dealerships are currently in the city or move in in the future. The tax can range from $1.01 per $1000 to $5.07 per $1000 of sales.

Auto dealerships generated $3.6 million in gross receipts taxes for the city of Los Angeles last year. City officials believe that by waiving that tax, more dealerships will move into the city and increase the flow of sales tax dollars. This fiscal year, the city expects to receive $5.4 million in sales tax. 

“We’ve been driving away new car dealers out of the city of Los Angeles for many years,” said Councilman Mitch Englander.

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Englander: LAPD should look at OIS policy -- not stats

Fans Cheer On LA Kings During Game 6 Of Stanley Cup Final

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A Los Angeles city councilman says police should focus on whether officer-involved shootings are within policy -- not whether statistics show they are related to attacks on cops.

A new report on officer-involved shootings and violent attacks on police officers should push the Los Angeles Police Department to look at whether shootings are in policy, rather than if the shootings and attacks are connected, a Los Angeles city councilman said today.

Councilman Mitch Englander, chair of the Public Safety Committee, was responding to the Police Commission’s report that an increase in use-of-force cases was not related to an increase in attacks on cops. Police Chief Charlie Beck has repeatedly said the two are intertwined. 

“They’re both measuring it and looking at it two very different ways,” Englander said in an interview with KPCC.

“The fact that crime is down overall, so our officers are getting into violent situations more rapidly … they’re confronting these individuals on a more regular basis and these individuals are pulling weapons,” Englander said.

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Villaraigosa veto keeps money in account for anti-gang programs

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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's veto is a technical change to the budget that will make $21.6 million available for anti-gang programs on July 1.

Concerned that there would be a minor delay in obtaining all of the funds promised to anti-gang programs, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today signed off on a veto that will keep the Gang Reduction and Youth Development budget whole.

It is the mayor’s only change to the $7.2 billion budget approved by the Los Angeles City Council.

The 2012-13 budget for anti-gang programs is $21.6 million. The council had considered withholding $5.3 million in General Fund money until the mayor’s office could provide documentation on GRYD’s revenues and expenditures over the last four years. 

A plan approved by the Los Angeles City Council yesterday would release those funds at the first meeting of the new fiscal year – on July 3. Rather than wait, Villaraigosa’s veto means the full amount of funding will be available on July 1.

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