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    LB Area Supervisor Knabe Votes To Put Half-Cent "Public Safety" Sales Tax Hike On Nov. Ballot

    (July 20, 2004, initial post) -- L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe -- who represents LB and surrounding areas -- today provided the fourth vote that will put a half cent "public safety" L.A. County sales tax increase on the November 2004 ballot.

    The measure would boost L.A. County's sales tax to 8.75% if approved by a 2/3 voter margin in November. plans to post the measure's text and extended transcript excerpts of today's Board of Supervisor meeting when available. Check back with this page, click reload or refresh on your browser for updates.

    The matter became a Board of Supervisors issue after L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca failed in his attempt to gather sufficient petition signatures to put a similar measure on the ballot...and asked the Supervisors to do so. It required more than a simple majority of the five member Board of needed four "yes" votes. Had Supervisor Knabe voted no, it would have effectively stopped the measure.

    The Supervisors made some changes to Baca's original measure before putting it on the ballot. However the exact text of their measure was not immediately available to the public on the Board of Supervisors' web site.

    As previously reported by, in January, LB's City Council voted (7-2, Webb and Lerch dissenting) to support Baca's original measure (which was crafted with input from LB city management and has since been changed somewhat), contending it could bring roughly $21 million annually to LB City Hall. At the June 29 Board of Supervisors meeting, LB Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga and LBPD Chief Anthony Batts spoke in favor of the sales tax increase.

    At the July 13 Board meeting, Kris Vosburgh, Executive Director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association urged Supervisors not to put the measure on the ballot:

    Let me assure you there is no public groundswell of support to raise taxes in L.A. County. That may have something to do with the fact that we are already in a high tax state and this is a high tax County. Look around you. Orange County is a half cent lower in its sales tax. Ventura County is a penny lower in its sales tax. Raise this and you run the same risk that Pete Wilson ran when he raised taxes in 1991. The state took in less money the following year. It's the old adage that economists will tell you, if you want less of something, in this case business activity, tax it more. You're going to run more people to make their purchases out of the County and on the internet..."

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