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Taxes: Svorinich and Improvement District Plan

March 24, 1994

There has been an abuse of power, and abuse of due process by Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr. These are the facts: On Dec. 15, 1993, when business people were the busiest, a hearing was scheduled by the Los Angeles City Council on the proposal for a Business Improvement District in San Pedro. The idea was to ramrod it through.

We who opposed it however, had letters from more than 50% of the businesses in the district who were opposed. The hearing was postponed.

On Jan. 5, business people again left their stores and offices to go to the City Council and register their opposition to the Business Improvement District. Again, we had more than 50% of the businesses who were opposed. So, what happened? The hearing was postponed again.

By what stretch of the imagination does a councilman not respect the will of the majority of his constituents? This is not only political suicide, but an abuse of office. And it is because of this kind of abuse that Councilman Svorinich is now under investigation by the Ethics Commission and the district attorney's office.

The last postponement was for 60 days to give the supporters of the district an opportunity to get business people to withdraw their letters of protest.

It is obvious that Councilman Rudy Svorinich was "cooperating" with the few property owners on 6th Street who are hellbent on taxing everyone from Third Street to 10th Street and from Harbor Boulevard to Pacific Avenue, to raise $96,000 annually. And for what purpose? To improve business. How? There is no blueprint.

The supporters of district refuse to define how the money will be spent. And by whom? And for what? More planters and trash containers, and less parking? One more assessment . . . one more tax. Why doesn't the councilman fight to cut some of our business taxes, like the wasteful Sidewalk Assessment District tax, instead of trying to impose yet another tax burden on everyone unlucky enough to be within the Business Improvement District boundaries.

Councilman Svorinich is using the power of his office to shove an ill-conceived proposal down our throats. He was not elected to inflict new taxes on his constituents, and yet that is exactly what he is planning to do.

I urge all who have businesses or rental property within the boundary of the Business Improvement District who have not returned their letters of opposition to me to do so right away. Call Councilman Rudy Svorinich and let him know that you do not want to be assessed. It's time to stand up and be counted, or remain silent and do nothing, and we will be paying $100 or $300 more in taxes . . . and that's just for openers. Pasadena has a Business Improvement District. Originally, each business was assessed $400 a year. Each year, the assessment went up. Now some businesses are paying $4,000 a year. We need to have more than 50% of the businesses in the district registering our opposition by April 5 when the final hearing is to take place.

NICK PAPADAKIS

Anchor Corp., San Pedro

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