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BRIEFLY / SMALL BUSINESS

Judge Won't Dismiss Suit Against Ordinance

January 24, 1998|Vicki Torres

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge refused to dismiss a taxpayer group's lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles' home-based business ordinance. The lawsuit was filed Oct. 24 by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. and Lyle Murphy, a composer who heads the Professional Musicians Union, No. 47. The city legalized home-based businesses in March and required them to pay city business taxes. The association and Murphy argued in the lawsuit that city officials in effect created a new tax and thereby violated Proposition 218, which requires a vote before new taxes are imposed. In arguing for dismissal, attorneys for the city said home-based businesses have always been required to pay the business tax and legalization was simply a zoning issue. But Superior Court Judge Edward Ross said the issue should be decided at trial and gave the city 20 days to respond.

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