Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA's mayoral candidates propose alternatives to sales tax increase

Mayoral Candidates

Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns

The top mayoral candidates, Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, all oppose the proposed sales tax increase.

A final vote to place a half-cent sales tax on the City of Los Angeles’ spring ballot is scheduled for Tuesday, but the top mayoral candidates have already come out in opposition to the proposal.

The tax increase, backed by council President Herb Wesson, could bring in as much as $215 million a year. Mayoral candidates and current council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry voted no in last week's initial vote.

Fellow candidate Wendy Greuel, L.A.'s City Controller, is also opposed. So is attorney Kevin James, who calls the proposed tax shortsighted — with some pointed words about Wesson's argument that the tax would give officials "breathing room" to come up with long-term solutions.

“I can translate it for you in just a few words – kicking the can farther down the road. That’s what breathing room means,” James said of the proposal. 

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Eric Garcetti pulls ahead — slightly — in mayoral money race

Mayoral Candidates

Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns

Candidates running to be Los Angeles' next mayor, in order from left to right: Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti. Both Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti report $2.8 million in their latest campaign reports, according to the Ethics Commission.

Money just keeps rolling in for the 2013 race for mayor of Los Angeles, and it appears hopefuls Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti are staying neck-and-neck when it comes to donations. 

In his quarterly campaign finance report, Garcetti reported $2.87 million – about $71,000 more than Greuel. Councilwoman Jan Perry reported $1.3 million, while attorney Kevin James had $275,000 and former aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Emanuel Pleitez, had $110,000.

Those figures are for the period ending Sept. 30. Of course, the question hanging over the race is whether billionaire developer Rick Caruso will run for mayor. Caruso has the power to significantly outspend whatever the declared candidates could raise from donors. (It costs an estimated $1.4 million to do a week’s worth of television ads in Los Angeles.) 

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