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LOS ANGELES

Alliance Backs Health Tax

October 03, 2002|DAREN BRISCOE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In an unusual alliance, the Los Angeles County Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor on Wednesday jointly announced their support of a proposed parcel tax to raise money for trauma care.

The two groups typically take conflicting positions on business and labor issues, but stood together on the steps of County-USC Medical Center to endorse what Chamber of Commerce President Rusty Hammer called "part of the solution."

The problem is a projected $750-million dollar budget deficit that threatens to cripple the county's network of 13 trauma centers.

The county has proposed raising approximately $175 million a year through a tax on developed property of 3 cents per square foot.

"They've already made health cuts," Hammer said, referring to the September closure of 11 health-care centers and four school-based clinics. "Now the county needs to raise some revenue and get some assistance."

Miguel Contreras of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor said that sustaining the trauma-care system transcends interest-group politics.

Measure B requires approval by two-thirds of the county voters. Officials estimate that the proposed tax would cost the owners of an average single family home of 1,400 square feet $42.66 annually.

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