Clean Water Tax Measure Receives A Vote
Posted by Jennifer Alcaraz on Jan 16, 2013 - 7:48:20 PM
WEST HOLLYWOOD—There was opposition during a meeting on Tuesday, January 15 in regards to a possible fee charged onto Los Angeles County property owners to fund the cleanup of local waterways. The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to redraft it.
There was an estimate of about 200 people who showed up at the public hearing in Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration with the intention of learning about the Clean Water, Clean Beaches initiative. There is support for the initiative, which claims it is a cost-effective way to reduce urban excess such as: toxic substances like industrial solvents, mercury, infection-causing bacteria, lead-which normally get into county waterways and the ocean as well. Another supporter is Malibu Mayor Lou La Monte, who indicated how his city has invested more than $60 million (which is almost half his budget over the last six years) in order to clean up overflows before it reaches the ocean.
People against the proposal expressed their concern on the fee, and whether people would be able to afford paying it. The opposition shared their concern on the little information provided on how the money would be spent, and that it would duplicate other already existing taxes and fees. Schools in the area are asking to be exempted from the fee since they are already dealing with budget cuts of their own. An example presented was The Long Beach Unified School District, which will lose more than $700,000 and will have to make more cuts. According to Burbank Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, the fee would divert tens of thousands of dollars from education.
If the proposal is approved, it would raise more than $200 million per year. In average, a single-family homeowner would pay about $54 according to the project manager for the plan, Phil Doudar. About 90 percent of parcel owners would pay less than $100, although commercial property owners would pay thousands of dollars.
There will be a report from county staff on this measure expected to be released on March 12.
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