If you own a house or any real estate, your property taxes will increase if Proposition 1 passes on June 6. If you live in an apartment and Proposition 1 passes, your rent will be increased as landlords pass on the property tax increases.
Proposition 1 is the $161-million (plus interest) police facility bond measure.
Will Proposition 1 pay for one new police officer? No.
Will it pay for needed new equipment? No.
Will it pay for needed jails? No.
Proposition 1 will increase our taxes to pay for four child-care facilities, three parking garages and other buildings.
In 1989, city officials persuaded us to increase property taxes for $176 million (plus interest) in bonds for new police stations. We were promised a new station in the Valley and another in mid-Wilshire.
Our taxes were increased, but the stations were never built. Now City Hall is telling us that if we increase our taxes again, it will build the new stations in the Valley and mid-Wilshire.
Why should we pay twice for the same buildings?
The annual Los Angeles police budget is $1.068 billion! There is money available to lease any needed buildings without increasing our taxes.
The Times editorialized: "Police Bond Issue Has Too Much Fat" and called it "a bond measure in need of liposuction."
The city's first priority should be more police officers, not:
1. Four 24-hour-a-day child-care centers at a cost of $4 million. Who is going to pay to operate and maintain the new child-care centers?
2. Three new parking structures, one for 500 cars ($7 million) and two more for 240 cars ($3 million each).
3. Spending $140 million for two new and two replacement police stations. We need local substations, not high-rise police stations at a cost of $35 million each
The city administrative office indicated that it might be better to consolidate stations rather than to increase the number of police stations. Why is the City Council trying to raise taxes to expand the number of buildings?
Each station needs officers and other personnel to operate it. The buildings are expensive to operate and maintain. Each new or expanded station diverts officers and money that could be used to put officers on patrol.
A recently released city report stated that the money raised in the 1989 bond measure still has not been spent. Six years later 11 facilities are still under construction.
City Hall should complete the current projects before asking taxpayers to increase their property taxes again.
The main supporters of Proposition 1 are City Hall elected officials. They support Proposition 1 because it will increase your property taxes. Their rallying cry is "Support the police." The supporters do not explain that the proposition will increase your taxes to build buildings.
Many of us would support increased taxes for hiring more police officers. However, we should not be asked to pay higher taxes for 25 years to build unnecessary facilities.
In 1989 Los Angeles voters increased their property taxes and were promised new facilities. A new Valley police station was eliminated after the election.
Is this going to happen again?
Proposition 1 is an attempt to circumvent Proposition 13. The city does not want to use its $4.1-billion budget for these facilities. But City Hall officials want us to increase our taxes to pay for them. We are not that foolish.
As the Police Department increases in size, new facilities are not needed because:
1. New and existing officers are being placed on the streets to patrol our communities. Fewer are working in police stations.
2. Officers are working four days per week rather than five. This reduces their use of the facilities.
3. More detectives are working in the evenings and on weekends. Therefore, less office space is needed during the busy 9-to-5 Monday-through-Friday work week.
4. Increased use of neighborhood substations reduces the need for four $35-million high-rise police stations. The substations are often donated by local businesses that benefit from the increased visible presence of police officers.
We must send a loud message to City Hall on June 6. Residents of Los Angeles must tell our elected officials \o7 No on Proposition 1 \f7 because:
1. We want more police officers, not more buildings.
2. We will not increase our taxes to pay for buildings that we are now paying for but were never built.
3. We want neighborhood police substations, not $35-million high-rise police stations.
\o7 No on Proposition 1. No increase in property taxes.