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Business Tax

February 27, 2013 | By James Rainey, Los Angeles Times
In the debate over who should be the next mayor of Los Angeles, who would you suppose argues for elimination of a business tax to kick-start economic growth? Not the one-time investment banker who dropped out of the race early and says killing the business tax would leave a huge hole in the city treasury. Not the lone Republican in the field, who wants more modest business tax reform. Not a City Council fiscal hawk, also a candidate for mayor, who says cutting the tax could leave the city with a $400-million shortfall.
February 12, 2013 | Steve Lopez
You know you live in a wild news town when a massive manhunt for an ex-cop leads to a dramatic shootout and inferno on a snow-covered mountain, the mayor pitches a tax increase that's beginning to look like attempted extortion, and the rebuked local cardinal at the center of a massive molestation scandal announces he's headed to Rome to pick the next pope. Christopher Dorner, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Cardinal Roger Mahony each could fill my space today, but they're going to have to share it. :: As I write on deadline, a cabin in the mountains is ablaze, and the hunt for Dorner appears to have ended.
February 11, 2013 | Michael Finnegan and James Rainey
City Controller Wendy Greuel has tried to set herself apart from rivals in the Los Angeles mayor's race by casting herself as a frugal budget expert well qualified to lead the city's recovery from chronic cash shortfalls. But her plans for major expansions of the police and fire departments, along with her pledge to abolish the city's business tax, set her apart in a different way: Her agenda would cost Los Angeles far more than anything proposed by her opponents. It would also make it harder to restore recent cuts in sidewalk repairs, tree trimming and other services, or to weather the next economic downturn, experts say. One of the next mayor's toughest tasks will be to close deficits projected to range from $216 million to $327 million a year.
February 9, 2013 | Steve Lopez
You're six months behind on the mortgage. Your credit cards are maxed out. Your small business is treading water. Meanwhile, a tree has fallen on the roof of the office, the parking lot is full of potholes, and you've promised raises to employees, along with free healthcare into eternity. So what should you do about a mounting deficit that could lead to bankruptcy? You could make some hard choices, or you could follow the lead of the candidates for mayor of Los Angeles. I subjected myself to two mayoral debates last week - one at the Autry National Museum and another at the Valley Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge - and I listened to a third debate on KPCC.
February 8, 2013 | Maeve Reston
The top five candidates for Los Angeles mayor faced an unusually tough grilling Thursday led by Austin Beutner, the former deputy mayor who once stood as a leading contender in the race. While in past debates the candidates have offered a striking lack of specificity about how they would tackle the city's looming $1-billion budget deficit, Beutner -- a retired investment banker who served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's first deputy until mid-2011 -- repeatedly pressed them for details at a lively San Fernando Valley forum.
January 15, 2013
Re "L.A.'s future: 'Silicon Beach,'" Opinion, Jan. 9 Lucy Hood misses a major point. The tech industry has grown in Los Angeles on its own. She wants tax breaks and investment incentives "to make Los Angeles the global technology center that it could become. " She describes the growth that has occurred without subsidies. She wants the mayor to appoint a chief technology officer who would raise venture capital money (there is no dearth of private companies that do this) and bring together leaders in academia and industry (as if mutually beneficial relationships are hard to set up)
January 2, 2013 | By Joseph Tanfani and Matea Gold, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - In the last-minute dealmaking to stop the nation from tumbling over the so-called fiscal cliff, Congress and the White House decided not to spare most people from a hike in Social Security payroll taxes. But they did find room for billions in special tax breaks for rum makers, racetrack owners, railroads - and Hollywood studios. Riding along on the compromise bill were dozens of provisions that renewed existing tax breaks. All told, the business tax breaks will cost more than $63 billion next year, according to an analysis by Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation.
December 6, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Republicans and Democrats are wrestling with a variety of riddles that have come to be known as the fiscal cliff, a double whammy of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the start of the new year. Here is a primer on unraveling the knotty political and economic threads. What exactly is the fiscal cliff? The term refers to a combination of forced cuts and tax increases worth more than $500 billion. The best-known parts are the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and the automatic across-the-board cuts to federal spending.
October 31, 2012
When it comes to so-called sin taxes, tobacco is simple. Food and drink are complicated. Cigarettes cause terrible disease and have no positive side effects. Taxes on them clearly reduce smoking and contribute to public health. But healthy eating requires balancing both the quantity of calories and the quality of those calories - does the food also deliver protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals? As a result, efforts to tax junk foods or regulate dietary behavior are almost sure to have logical inconsistencies.
September 18, 2012 | By David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
Setting the stage for a legal battle with employee unions, the Los Angeles City Council is weighing a new plan to reel in pension costs by hiking the retirement age and cutting benefits for thousands of future civilian employees. The proposal, unveiled the same day that the council backed a three-year business tax break worth roughly $50 million, would set the retirement age at 65 and establish new financial penalties for those who retire earlier. The plan, which could be voted on as early as next week, also would require new employees to pay more if the retirement fund suffers major investment losses.
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