LA City Council faces $1 billion in budget shortfalls over the next four years. To fix it, they want to tax us more. But all that will do is to preserve the current levels of service, which I believe we can agree are supremely inadequate.
They spend over $7 billion a year of our money already and have failed to keep up with sidewalk repair, street sweeping, tree maintenance, keeping libraries and parks open without taxing us more, and generally not living up to the expectation we have of an international city.
Our budget is broken. We need to publish the budget online in a user-friendly format that allows us to track spending in real time. We need to enact meaningful pension reform so we're not paying out up to 120% of a person's salary each year for their retirement. We need to initiate a performance based budget so that our city departments are connecting their budget requests to actual goals that we can measure.
Most importantly, we need to generally start looking for ways to promote the growth of business here in LA instead of passing taxes in areas like real estate and the sales tax at a time when our recovery might just be finding its legs. If we pass new taxes, let's make them value-added taxes that both increases revenue and spurs lifestyle changes that cut costs - like a penny an ounce soda tax that would generate over $100 million a year in revenue while potentially curbing consumption of a beverage decreases productivity at school because of tooth decay in children and harms worker productivity in the long term for adults due to chronic illnesses like diabetes.