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La Mirada Sets Referendums to Increase Taxes

July 23, 1987

LA MIRADA — Residents in November will be asked to approve a pair of tax increases to offset the loss of federal revenue sharing money and a drop in sales tax revenue.

The City Council agreed to place the two tax proposals--increases in the bed tax and the annual business license fee--on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. Under state law, voters must approve the tax increases.

The city is seeking to raise the annual bed tax charged motel and hotel owners from 6% to 7%, which would generate an additional $50,000 a year for the city, said Tom Robinson, the city's community resources manager. The city receives about $300,000 in bed tax money from La Mirada's only hotel, the 292-room Gateway Plaza Holiday Inn on Firestone Boulevard.

On the same ballot, residents must decide whether to double the annual business license fee from $26 to $54. Last August, the council voted to increase the fee, but City Manager Gary Sloan said the action may require voter approval because of the passage in November of Prop. 62.

That measure requires municipalities to obtain voter approval before adopting most new taxes or increasing others. It is unclear, Sloan said, whether the business fee increase falls under Prop. 62, but rather than take a chance that the courts would overturn the action, he recommended putting it before the voters.

Until this year, La Mirada received as much as $500,000 a year from the federal government's revenue sharing program. But the program ended this year, forcing the city to look for new sources of revenue.

City officials also predict that the closure of several big retail businesses, such as Gemco and Southern Lumber, in the past year will cut this year's sales tax revenue--one of the key sources of income for the city.

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