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    Councilman Carroll Seeks LB Charter Amendment To Prohibit Future LB Local Income Tax...Although Pending State Legislation Has Been Amended To Let Only Counties, Not Cities, Impose Local Income Tax (And Distribute Revenue To Cities on Per Capita Basis)

    (August 29, 2003, updated Aug. 30 & Sept. 4) -- 4th district Councilman Dennis Carroll has agendized an item for the Sept. 2 Council meeting that could begin the process of amending the City Charter to prohibit imposition of a local income tax by the City of Long Beach.

    "I request this issue be referred to the City Charter Amendment Committee for hearing and that an amendment prohibiting income tax by the City of Long Beach be placed before our voters at the earliest opportunity," Councilman Carroll writes in his agendizing memo. posts the memo in full below.

    Councilman Carroll's agenda item follows comments by him during the Aug. 19 Council discussion of a city resolution opposing AB 1690, a Sacramento bill that in its original form would have let cities and/or counties impose a local income -- subject to a majority vote by local voters -- for the first time in CA history.

    In that form, AB 1690 passed the state Assembly with "yes" votes from LB area Assemblymembers Alan Lowenthal and Jenny Oropeza. AB 1690 is backed by police, sheriff and firefighter employee unions.

    As subsequently reported by, AB 1690 has been amended in the state Senate to only let counties -- not cities -- impose the income tax. The amended version of the bill is now in the CA Senate's Appropriations Committee pending a hearing.

    In his agendizing memo putting the item on the Sept. 2 Council agenda, Councilman Carroll states:

    Date: September 2, 2003
    To: Mayor and Councilmembers .
    From: Councilmember Dennis Carrol
    Subject: AGENDA ITEM: City Charter Amendment
    Prohibit City Income Tax

    Special interests in Sacramento are attempting to give all California cities the ability to impose an income tax on their residents. This would subject the income of every Long Beach taxpayer to taxation by federal, state, and now, city governments. This is an unprecedented assault on hardworking Long Beach taxpayers and their paychecks.

    As a charter city, Long Beach has the ability to stop this proposed city income tax in its tracks. We can amend our city charter to prohibit any Long Beach city income tax. We must act now to protect our taxpayers and send a message to special interests and our Sacramento legislators that enough is enough. Taxpayers have been very clear that they want government at all levels to be downsized and streamlined. Creating an additional tax on workers’ incomes and paychecks is completely contrary to that directive.

    I request this issue be referred to the City Charter Amendment Committee for hearing and that an amendment prohibiting income tax by the City of Long Beach be placed before our voters at the earliest opportunity.

    At the City Council's August 19 meeting, Councilmembers voted 7-2 (Lowenthal & Baker dissenting) to prepare a resolution opposing consideration of a local income tax.

    During the Aug. 19 Council discussion, Councilman Carroll called legislation enabling a local income tax "a scam from beginning to end as far as I'm concerned, and beyond whatever resolution [in opposition] we might pass and would be wadded up and thrown into the wastebasket by the legislature anyway, I am going to propose when our Charter Amendment committee gets rolling now put in our City Charter a prohibition against any income tax in the City of Long Beach forever after and stop this in its tracks. We do not want it. We don't want to be turned into New York."

    [update] To view AB 1690 as amended Sept. 4, click AB 1690 (as amended Sept. 4)

    Previous coverage:

    Aug. 2003: Details of Sac'to Proposal For Local Income Tax:

  • Amended Version Would Let Counties -- Not Cities -- Impose Income Tax With Majority Voter Approval, Then Allocate Money To Cities Within County On Per Capita Basis
  • Assembly Author Calls It A "Local Optional Insurance Policy"

    Aug. 2003: Sac'to Quietly Revives Local Income Tax Bill; Amended Version Would Allow First-Ever County Income Tax -- With Majority Voter Approval -- For Public Safety Purposes With Monies Allocated To Cities

  • LB Council Votes 7-2 (Baker, Lowenthal dissenting) Against Sac'to Considering Local Income Tax;
  • Earlier Version of Bill Has Already Cleared Assembly With Support from Ass'ymembers Lowenthal & Oropeza

    July 2003: Sac'to Legislation Permitting Local Income Tax Neutered In Committee For Now But May Regain Potency Later

  • LB Firefighters Testify, Support AB 1690 Letting Local Voters Impose Local Income Tax For Public Safety Purposes
  • Committee Balks On Policy Grounds Voiced Mainly By Sen. Bowen (D., Redondo Beach-LB)
  • Committee Changes Legislation To "Intent" Bill -- Not Legally Binding; It May Regain Legal Teeth Later

    June 2003: CA Assembly -- With Lowenthal & Oropeza Voting Yes -- OK's Bill Authorizing Any City Or County Forming A "Public Safety Finance Agency" To Impose Local Income Tax With Majority Voter Approval

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