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Angeles County | Community News File / San Gabriel

Local Officials Protest Proposal to Cut Car Tax

July 07, 1998

City and school leaders from across the San Gabriel Valley on Monday protested proposals to cut or eliminate vehicle license fees that go to local government, warning that such cuts would severely reduce services.

Local elected officials called on Gov. Pete Wilson and Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Northridge) to abandon the proposals to eliminate or reduce the per-car tax by as much as 75%.

"We represent the interests of nearly 2 million people in the San Gabriel Valley, whose police, fire and other essential services will suffer if this proposal is enacted," Pasadena Councilman Paul Little said. The 30 cities in the San Gabriel Valley would lose about $58 million annually, he said.

The governor has dismissed such statements, saying that there is a $4.4-billion budget surplus and local government will be reimbursed out of the state's general fund for the loss of car registration fees.

But local officials say that the move would remove a guaranteed source of funding for city services and force City Hall to compete against the schools for state funding.

"If the governor wants to cut taxes, let him cut state taxes. Cities and schools are already run on a shoestring budgets," Claremont Mayor Algird Leiga said.

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