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L.A. Considers Income Tax on Rich to Help Homeless

Los Angeles County is reportedly considering a local income tax to raise funds towards addressing the city’s homelessness crisis.

Members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are split over support for the proposal. Los Angeles County does not yet have the authority to raise income taxes, and would need to change a state law in order to do raise revenues in that fashion. And on Monday, that is precisely what some politicians sought to achieve.

According to online political blog Fox & Hounds, on Monday the L.A. Board of Supervisors delayed a motion to ask county lobbyists to convince state legislators to change the law that prohibits local jurisdictions from imposing a local income tax.

The political blog’s main writer Joel Fox, points out that “California’s top income tax payers already pay the highest income tax rate in the country.” With the new proposal, that could go even higher.

According to the Los Angeles Times, both Republicans on the board, Michael D. Antonovich and Don Knabe, expressed skepticism about pursuing a tax increase. However, labor-backed Democrat Hilda Solis also joined the Republicans and reportedly wound up in a heated exchange with fellow Democrat Mark Ridley-Thomas over her resistance to supporting the proposal during the Monday meeting.

Solis was also reportedly against the proposal because she felt the findings on L.A. County’s homeless count had underestimated the problem in her own district, and that as a result, she would receive less funding from the tax. The Times notes that the current estimate has L.A. hosting 47,000 homeless individuals.

While the Times points out that “a recent poll commissioned by the county found that 76% of the likely voters polled were supportive of a millionaires tax — enough to meet the two-thirds majority required to impose a new tax,” Fox & Hounds notes that “In the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed) poll of members issued last week, the number one concern for small business owners was the income tax.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz 

 

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