February 15, 2010
Saturated and hazardous slopes serve as a wet-season reminder of the fires of hotter months, and of the growing cost of protecting homes built too close to chaparral and forest areas periodically swept by wildfire. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has tried in the past to find a reasonable way to help fund fire protection in these areas, but his proposal this year again falls short. He's calling for a new, 4.8% surcharge on the premiums of all commercial and residential property insurance policies statewide.
October 13, 2009
No matter how squeezed the University of California is, it makes no sense to single out students our economy will need -- such as its future engineers -- and levy a surcharge on them for their chosen major. That's the latest scheme for raising revenue at UC. Undergraduates in engineering and business would be charged $900 more a year than other students, who already are facing a probable fee increase of more than $2,500 next fall. The rationale is that the faculty in these two fields earn significantly higher salaries, raising the cost of education, and that students from those majors will make enough money after graduation to pay off the bigger loans.
October 7, 2009 |
Several big airlines have added $10 surcharges for busy days around the holidays. Last month, airlines added $10 surcharges each way for travel Nov. 29 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving) and Jan. 2 and 3. Now, FareCompare.com Chief Executive Rick Seaney notes that those airlines have added 10 more days: Nov. 30; Dec. 19, 26 and 27; March 14, 20, 21 and 28; April 11; and May 28. He said the surcharges were added by Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp., AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, UAL Corp.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2009 |
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to send a plan for raising the city's electrical rates back to the Department of Water and Power, saying the utility needs to do more work on the proposal. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's appointees on the DWP commission hoped to increase the size of its quarterly surcharge on residential electrical bills to help the utility absorb the rising cost of renewable energy -- wind, solar and geothermal power. But Councilwoman Jan Perry said the new surcharge would hand a "blank check" to the DWP. The existing surcharge has already gone up by 1% every three months since the fall of 2006.
August 23, 2009 |
"Sin taxes" on cigarettes have turned out to be the most effective weapon in the campaign to reduce smoking. Why not try it on Flamin' Hot Cheetos, vanilla Coke and Twinkies? With increasing vigor, public health experts and think tanks are calling for extra taxes on foods and drinks that are heavy in calories and light on nutrition. New York Gov. David Paterson proposed an 18% soda tax last year as a budget-balancing measure, only to abandon it three months later in the face of stiff public opposition.
January 3, 2009
Once again, arts organizations are determined to shoot themselves in the foot ["That Aisle Seat Will Cost You," Dec. 26]. "If people are willing to pay more for an aisle seat, then it's pretty irresponsible from a business standpoint not to charge," says the Portland Symphony's marketing director. In other words, greed is good, charge all the market will bear, and don't worry about tomorrow. But most symphonies get only about 30% to 50% of their revenue from ticket sales. The rest comes from donations.
November 23, 2008 |
Three of California's largest utilities are proposing something so heavy-handed, it almost seems like a prank. But this is no laughing matter. Southern California Gas Co., San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. -- which collectively serve about 10 million natural gas customers -- want to shift $90 million in fees paid each year by business customers onto residential customers. The fees primarily go toward helping low-income people heat their homes.
August 1, 2008 |
Northwest Airlines Corp. confirmed that it would add fuel surcharges of as much as $80 for many domestic round-trip tickets. The surcharge will apply to travel to about 7,000 city pairs beginning Jan. 10, a Northwest spokeswoman said. She added that the Eagan, Minn.-based carrier was matching surcharges by competitors in those markets. Northwest already has fuel surcharges in other markets, she said.