11 L.A. County Cities Approved Sales Tax Hikes This November
If the November elections proved one thing, it’s that voters across L.A. County are still willing to open their wallets for the promise of better services, infrastructure, and schools.
Eleven cities in L.A. County passed sales tax increases on Nov. 6, including several which have now hit the state’s limit of 10.25%: Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, and Pomona. They join seven cities — Compton, Hawthorne, Long Beach, Lynwood, Pico Rivera, Santa Monica and South Gate — which all had maximum sales tax rates before the election.
These voters have all been promised tangible benefits for their sacrifice but, from Day 1, skeptics have warned that the bulk of revenue will be eaten up by skyrocketing public retirement costs.
“It’s all going to pensions,” Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Jon Coupal told the Pasadena Star-News. “It’s nothing but a massive shell game. One way or another, this additional tax revenue will go into attempting to staunch the crisis that’s plaguing local governments in California.”
Pensions are looming large in cities like Pomona, leading to fiscal crisis. Critics have described these tax increases as a “bailout” intended to mitigate unwise financial decisions and unsustainable systems.
So far, L.A. County residents have decided to give city leaders the benefit of the doubt. What happens if they don’t see the improvements they were promised?