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Westside Digest

Beverly Hills : Tax Measure on Ballot Nov. 8

February 25, 1988

The City Council has decided to wait until the Nov. 8 national election to place on the ballot a measure seeking voter approval of an increase in the hotel bed tax.

The increase, from 7% to 11%, was imposed in October, 1986, but a state proposition also approved that year requires that any new general tax be approved by voters. Taxing bodies, such as the city, have two years to gain voter approval.

However, it is unclear whether the law requiring voter approval applies to tax increases, according to city finance Director Donald J. Oblander.

Oblander said several cities have filed suit challenging the law's constitutionality. The City of Westminster lost the first round in its suit recently but has appealed to the state Appellate Court.

At a study session Tuesday, Oblander recommended that the City Council wait until the November election rather than bring the ballot measure up for a vote in the June general election or hold a special election. He said the Appellate Court may have ruled on the Westminster case by November.

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