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Basis for Sewage Tax

December 30, 1985

A recent story (Dec. 8) by staff writer Victor Merina detailed the concept of "tripling of the $5.40 residential sewer fee . . ."

We strongly oppose increased sewer-use fees--a "toilet tax," if you will, for single-family dwellings--and suggest that both new and previously constructed commercial properties be assessed on the basis of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) rather than water-line size.

In case you feel that sewage taxes are a drop in the bucket, so to speak, be informed that the city's sewer construction and maintenance fund for fiscal 1985-'86 is $136,015,000 or approximately 67% of the city's entire capital development budget. The five year projection is $882,090,012 or some 55% of the total.

A tax based on the FAR (the more floor area, the more people; the more people, the greater the sewer use) would not just punish new developers but would be spread equally between all commercial entities. Further, it would give some developers who either previously built or are planning to build utilizing every useable square inch of space, some reasons to cut back on projects.

Ventura Boulevard, in particular, through Sherman Oaks, Encino and Tarzana has been infested with commercial developments that cover every last blade of grass. Those ill-conceived, improperly executed developments are the cause of our city's sewage crises, not the homeowners.

Sewage tax based on commercial Floor Area Ratio. An idea whose time has come.

BENNETT J. MINTZ

Encino

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