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May 19, 2010 | By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
Voters in this famously tax-averse state Tuesday night approved a temporary hike in the sales tax to stave off brutal budget cuts, handing Gov. Jan Brewer a crucial victory. The veteran Republican had shocked many in her party last year by advocating the penny sales tax increase, arguing that the state couldn't simply cut its way out of a deficit that rivals California's. Critics said it was economic suicide to raise taxes in a recession. On Tuesday night, as early returns showed two-thirds of voters agreeing with the governor, Brewer declared victory in front of supporters inside a middle school student union here.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Laura J. Nelson
A plan for increasing the sales tax to fix Los Angeles' broken streets is on a collision course with a similar levy being pushed for regional transit projects. Two weeks ago, the top budget advisor to the Los Angeles City Council said a tax increase is the only way thousands of miles of severely damaged roads and sidewalks will get repaired. A half-cent increase in the sales tax, which would generate $4.5 billion over 15 years, should appear on the November ballot, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2013 | Steve Lopez
When I scolded deadbeat Angelenos for blowing off Tuesday's election, some of them had just enough energy to return fire. "I chose not to spit into the wind anymore," wrote Lou. "It is not an embarrassment to shun an embarrassment like L.A. 'government' and L.A. politicians," wrote Loren. Just as I was about to scold them all over again, along came Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who reminded us why there's such raging cynicism in Los Angeles. Let's go back to early February, when Villaraigosa endorsed Measure A. That was the proposal for a half-cent sales-tax increase that would have raised about $200 million a year in a city with a projected annual budget shortfall of roughly that very amount for years to come.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Laura J. Nelson
Hoping to garner voter and political support across Los Angeles County for a possible half-cent sales tax increase, transportation advocates gathered downtown Friday to unveil a proposal for a 2016 ballot measure that could fund a range of new transit projects, including a toll highway and rail line through the Sepulveda Pass. The tax proposal, announced by the advocacy group Move L.A., could raise an estimated $90 billion over 45 years and cost the average resident 25 cents to 30 cents a day, proponents said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2008 | Steve Hymon
With all the ballots counted, the half-cent sales tax increase for transportation projects in Los Angeles County passed with 67.93% of the vote. The tax hike, known as Measure R, needed two-thirds approval. Measure R is expected to raise $30 billion to $40 billion over its 30-year life span, proponents say. The most expensive project it will fund is an extension of the Westside subway. The increase will begin July 1 and bring the sales tax rate in the county to 8.75%.
OPINION
November 11, 2008
Re "Gov. pushes hike in sales tax, big cuts," Nov. 7 Now, let's see if I understand this correctly: On Tuesday, Nov. 4, we approved additional sales taxes for Los Angeles County with Proposition R, a 0.5-cent tax on the dollar, plus Proposition 1A for a bullet train for California. Then on Friday, Nov. 7, The Times reported that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is asking for a sales-tax increase -- 1.5 cents on the dollar -- to fund the state coffers. Also in Friday's Times, there is a report that the Department of Water and Power wants to increase our bills so they can install solar panels.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 1989 | JEFFREY A. PERLMAN, Times Urban Affairs Writer
A group of environmentalists is threatening to fight a proposed sales tax for traffic improvements unless the county sponsors a bond issue designed to give them perhaps $2 million or more to buy land and protect it from development. County officials say they are seriously considering the deal, which is similar to a compromise struck last year in Contra Costa County. Some proponents of the half-cent levy, though, think the environmentalists lack the clout to force the issue. "The environmental community is saying that we've been left out of the process for so long that we need something on our side for us to support a sales tax," said Elizabeth Brown, who proposed the deal as president of Laguna Greenbelt Inc., an influential environmental group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 1989
Over the next several months the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the 28 city councils in the county will be reviewing the 20-year transportation plan unanimously approved last Monday by the Orange County Transportation Commission. The plan should be supported. The commission's approval, and ratification by a majority of the county board and city councils representing a majority of the cities' populations, will legally clear the way to put a proposed half-cent transportation sales tax before voters and in essence, the 20-year plan along with it. It is time that the sales-tax proposal was put back on the ballot.
BUSINESS
October 25, 2010 | David Lazarus
Garden Grove resident Ken Licht is in the market for a new cellphone. But he can't get a good explanation of why he'll have to pay sales tax on the full price of a handset ? even though most phones are heavily discounted by wireless companies or given away free. It's a question I get asked a lot. And with nearly 300 million cellphones now in use in the United States ? meaning that 93% of the population is sporting a mobile device, according to the wireless industry ? it's probably not a bad idea to explain what's going on. First of all, Licht made the same observation that probably all cellphone customers have made at one time or another.
BUSINESS
November 3, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Most Internet shoppers in California know that, since Sept. 15, Amazon.com and other e-merchants, have been required to collect sales taxes for online purchases. But, what many are just finding out is that Amazon and some competitors also are collecting California's 7.25% base rate plus any local government add-on sales taxes on combined "shipping and handling" charges. According to California's sales tax collection agency, the Board of Equalization, sales tax should be collected when a seller "makes a combined charge for 'shipping and handling' or 'postage and handling,' " if the invoice does not show the actual cost of the individual delivery.
NEWS
March 19, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
Would you, city of Los Angeles resident, support a higher sales tax for smooth streets and sidewalks? How about backing a higher sales tax to build light-rail and subway lines? Would you support both tax increases? That's the question L.A. leaders and voters may soon confront. On Tuesday, two Los Angeles officials proposed putting a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot to raise money for road and sidewalk repairs. City leaders have considered a street repair tax since at least 2006, but council members previously favored a bond measure, which would be paid by property owners.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 | By David Zahniser
One year after Los Angeles voters rejected a sales tax increase, the City Council is looking at trying again - this time by tying the money to the repair of the city's deteriorating network of streets. Two high-level City Hall policy advisors recommended Tuesday that lawmakers place a half-cent tax hike on the November ballot that would generate $4.5 billion over 15 years. The proceeds, they said, would pay to fix the most severely damaged roads and sidewalks. Passage of a tax could add momentum to Mayor Eric Garcetti's "back to basics" campaign, which focuses on upgrading basic services.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
 California motorists will get a slight break at the pump July 1 when the state excise tax on gasoline will be adjusted downward by 3.5 cents per gallon. The state Board of Equalization voted unanimously Tuesday to lower the tax for one year. The tax officials did so to comply with a state budget law passed in 2010, known as the "fuel tax swap. " Every year the board must jiggle the gas tax rate as part of a complex formula that's aimed at balancing revenue from per gallon excise tax on gasoline and the sales tax on the total charged to customers at filling stations.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Robin is buying a new car. Like all car buyers, she's done her best to haggle the price down. Now, she says, she's being told that she has to pay sales tax on the full sticker price of the vehicle, rather than the discounted price. Robin asks: Is that kosher? ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions When you buy a cellphone in California, you're taxed on the full retail value of the device instead of the much lower subsidized price you actually pay. As for cars, I had to check on this one with the State Board of Equalization.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 2013 | By Laura J. Nelson
Transportation officials in Los Angeles County plan to offer a ballot measure next fall or in 2016 that would raise the county's sales tax by half a cent or extend the life of Measure R, the levy voters approved in 2008. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and multiple advocacy groups say more transportation money would help expand the region's fledgling rail network, improve complementary service on bus lines, and speed construction and repairs on rail lines and highways.
BUSINESS
December 2, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Although Amazon.com largely abandoned the battlefield in its long war against state sales taxes last year, the Supreme Court on Monday delivered the final articles of surrender. The court turned down the big retailer's appeal of a New York court ruling upholding a law requiring Amazon to collect sales taxes from customers there. It's about time. You can tell that Amazon knew defeat was coming from the fact that it already was collecting taxes from buyers in New York, pending a final ruling.
BUSINESS
September 15, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Saturday is tax day for Internet shoppers in California. Amazon.com, the world's biggest Internet retailer, began collecting sales taxes on purchases made by Golden State shoppers beginning at 12:01 a.m. The tax ranges from 7.25% to 9.75%, depending on where a buyer is located. Chatter on Twitter on Saturday morning showed mixed consumer reaction. "It was a good ride," tweeted Christopher Ferebee, who identified himself as a literary agent and attorney in Southern California.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2013 | By Rick Rojas and Lee Romney
In a city that had fallen into bankruptcy, where confidence had plummeted as crime rose, the election was cast as a decisive moment for San Bernardino. And Tuesday the voters spoke up, pushing out the longtime city attorney - a prominent figure first elected to the job in 1987 - and a city councilwoman who nonetheless emerged as the leading vote-getter in the race for mayor. Proponents of the recall effort hailed the election as a victory. "It gives San Bernardino hope that things can get better and will get better," said Scott Beard, a leader of the recall effort.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Residents of Stockton approved a sales-tax increase that officials say will help the city emerge from bankruptcy. The city of about 300,000 filed for Chapter 9 protection in July 2012, at the time the largest U.S. city to do so. Stockton was later surpassed by Detroit, which filed bankruptcy in July. Voters on Tuesday agreed to raise the sales tax in the city by 3/4 of a percent, to 9%. The tax hike, which will take effect April 1, is expected to raise about $280 million in 10 years.
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