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Community Digest

South Gate : Council Rejects Assessing Businesses to Fund Chamber

August 27, 1992

The City Council has rejected a proposal to impose a citywide assessment on businesses to finance the ailing Chamber of Commerce. Some council members said levying the charge would be unwise during a recession and objected to forcing businesses to support the chamber. Membership presently is voluntary.

Mayor Johnny Ramirez said he decided to vote against the plan after talking to many business owners. "Right now, we're in a recession," he said. "Economic times are hard."

Councilman Albert Robles said he supports the chamber but opposes forcing businesses to join. He said chamber leaders should hire a competent director who would work under their "watchful guidance and direction" to increase the organization's membership and budget independently of the city. The chamber receives an annual subsidy of between $70,000 and $90,000 from the city.

Several business owners spoke in favor of the assessment, which would have ranged from $56 to $300 per business.

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