AirTalk for November 19, 2012

L.A. union opposes proposed half-cent sales tax

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Downtown Los Angeles.

A union representing L.A. city workers has voiced their opposition to the proposed half-cent sales tax hike on the March 5 ballot. The tax hike is lauded by City Council President Herb Wesson as the only way to save 1,400 jobs, including 500 police officer positions. Union support can be crucial to bills like the sales tax hike, but the labor union and four of the city’s top mayoral candidates have all opposed the increase.

Union president Bob Schoonover said that the tax increase would hurt middle class families, and that his union, which supports 10,000 city workers, “couldn’t support it.” The half-cent sales tax hike is a response to opposition from real estate groups for a previously-proposed real estate tax intended to generate $150 million, when combined with a tax on parking lots.

The sales tax increase would generate $215 million. How would a half-cent sales tax hike impact Los Angeles? Would it have a larger impact on certain economic groups? Is it a better alternative to a real estate tax? How should the city council and the union proceed?

Guests:

Alice Walton, KPCC reporter

Frank Stoltze, KPCC reporter


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