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User Fees

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 1987 | NIKI CERVANTES, United Press International
Financially strapped California cities are staying solvent these days by charging businesses a bundle of new fees for the cost of everything from traffic lights to day care. Does the burglar alarm in your office routinely go off by accident? That could cost you a special fee to cover the Police Department's cost for checking it. Planning a sprawling new commercial complex? Better count on a hefty fee to pay the city's cost of providing a pleasant park next to it.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2012 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO — Let's begin with the basics: Tobacco companies are inherently evil. They peddle poison that causes cancer and addicts people to their killer products. Second, smoking is nuts. Smokers know that. Spare the lectures. Can't stop, they say. Nonsense. Millions have. They'll stop eventually when the nurse thrusts the ventilator tube down their throat. I've been blessed. Never smoked. But for much of my generation, lighting up was a rite of passage.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 1989
As a member of a number of small organizations which are "users" of Los Angeles County parks and gardens, I wish to protest a recent directive by the director of these facilities. After more than 15 years of participation in garden shows, bonsai exhibitions and group meetings, I have become a witness to a major decline in attendance to our affairs. Where a weeklong show would attract several thousand Los Angeles residents, we now see a major reduction in attendance due to the $3 entry fee. Now, the facility management has seen fit to enact another "user" charge of $50 and $25 to organizations which use these public garden buildings for their meetings and shows.
OPINION
October 31, 2010 | By Harold Meyerson
How do I, a card-carrying liberal ? if only liberals had it sufficiently together to issue cards ? think my way through this year's crop of California ballot measures? Thusly: Of the measures on November's ballot, three are genuine game-changers. Proposition 25 would reduce from two-thirds to a simple majority the number of votes required in each house of the Legislature to pass a budget. Proposition 26 would raise the threshold to enact regulatory and user fees from a majority vote to two-thirds.
BUSINESS
February 7, 1995 | JUBE SHIVER Jr., TIMES STAFF WRITER
President Clinton's budget proposes raising $1 billion a year from a new levy on broadcasters and other users of the nation's airwaves--but the television industry appears confident it can defeat any such measure. The proposal would require that Congress pass legislation to give the Federal Communications Commission the authority to charge user fees for licenses that the agency now allocates to private companies for little or no cost.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 1999
A number of recent letters condemn various fees for using public facilities, ranging from parking fees at Ventura Harbor to fees for entering national forests. I readily understand anger over fees for services that were, until recently, free. However, these fees are a natural consequence of voting for politicians and ballot propositions that cut our taxes. With reduced revenues for maintaining parking lots, hiking trails and other government facilities, fees are needed to cover the shortfall.
NEWS
December 19, 1989 | JOHN LANCASTER and PAUL BLUSTEIN, THE WASHINGTON POST
The Bush Administration plans to propose excise taxes on recreational vehicles, off-road vehicles, camping equipment and pleasure boats despite the concern of some Administration officials that they might be a violation of President Bush's "no new taxes" pledge. The taxes, ranging from 1% to 2.
REAL ESTATE
May 12, 1985 | JOHN BETZ WILLMANN, Special to The Times
Every now and then a "gut" or "pocketbook" issue comes along to demonstrate that even the White House will attempt to do something that really rankles some of its strongest organized supporters. That's what is happening now on Capitol Hill, where a Reagan-backed proposal to increase housing finance "user" fees has enraged groups that speak for housing/finance/realty interests.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 1989 | HUGO MARTIN, Times Staff Writer
The Torrance City Council will begin considering later this month a recommendation to increase by 72%, or almost $2 million a year, the fees charged to residents for many city services. The increases would be phased in over a three-year period beginning July 1, city officials said. Anyone who pays a user fee for a city service could expect to pay more, though the increase would vary among the 109 user fees, they said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 3, 1993 | SHELBY GRAD
User fees at city parks and buildings will increase by 3.5%, the City Council has decided. The action, approved at last Tuesday's council meeting, means that the public will pay more to reserve and use city-owned camp sites, baseball diamonds, recreation centers and buildings. The new fees take effect Sept. 1. The size of the fee increase was determined by measuring the consumer price index in December, 1992. The index at that time was 3.5%.
OPINION
March 25, 2010 | By Henry I. Miller
Zeal has replaced science and common sense at the Food and Drug Administration. Last year, the FDA attempted to block importation of "electronic cigarettes" -- an important aid to cessation of smoking -- but was enjoined from doing so by the federal courts. It also reversed a sound policy that required prior legal review of warning letters sent to companies, and it has increased the amounts of data that will need to be obtained and submitted to regulators for medical devices -- including pacemakers, artificial joints and cardiac stents -- to an extent that threatens innovation in the industry.
NATIONAL
February 11, 2010 | By Andrew Zajac
The Food and Drug Administration was sitting pretty last week, winning a significant budget increase while many other federal agencies faced the prospect of cut or frozen funding as the Obama administration confronts a 13-figure deficit. But a coalition of public interest advocates, patient groups and healthcare industry interests regulated by the FDA had a swift response: It's not enough. "We are disappointed in the president's budget request and . . . will seek to increase" the budget, said Steven Grossman, deputy executive director of Alliance for a Stronger FDA. The group lists seven former FDA commissioners and many of the largest and most influential consumer, food and pharmaceutical trade groups among its 180 members.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2009 | Bob Pool
A popular golf course at the VA Medical Center in Brentwood has been closed to the public as federal investigators look into suspected embezzlement of greens fees there. The nine-hole, par-3 course -- built for returning World War II veterans by members of the Hillcrest Country Club -- has been open in recent years to others who pay $12 per round to play. But as much as $200,000 in user fees may be missing, according to some who are familiar with the course's operation.
NATIONAL
July 6, 2008 | Stuart Glascock, Times Staff Writer
A noisy fight over user fees has erupted on Idaho's scenic lakes and world-famous river rapids. It pits white-water river rafters, kayakers and canoeists against powerboaters. At issue is who pays for services such as docks, launching pads, parking lots, restrooms and search-and-rescue efforts. Motorboaters pay registration fees and gas taxes; others don't. Powerboaters complained to state officials that others were not paying their fair share of user fees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2007 | David Zahniser, Times Staff Writer
Worried that an upcoming court ruling could wreak havoc on the city budget, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recommended Monday that the City Council declare the city will face an "emergency" if a court rules against the city and invalidates a $270-million telephone users utility tax. The declaration would pave the way for the mayor and the council to put a replacement tax on the ballot as soon as Feb.
NATIONAL
September 15, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The head of the Food and Drug Administration alerted the agency's employees that 2,000 of them could get layoff notices as early as next week if Congress does not renew user fees for drugs and medical devices. FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach sent an agencywide memo to staff at the end of the workday. The layoffs would take effect 60 days after issuance of such a notice.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 1992 | AMY PYLE
Establishing fees for using county nature parks and trails is to be considered by Los Angeles County supervisors as early as today as part of an effort to keep the areas open in the face of budget reductions. The proposal, made by County Chief Administrative Officer Richard Dixon, calls for users of the 330-mile trail system to carry an annual pass, which would cost an estimated $23. At the 19 nature parks, spread throughout the county, visitors would be charged $3 a day for parking.
REAL ESTATE
July 7, 1985 | JOHN BETZ WILLMANN, Special to The Times
Overshadowed in importance by temporarily stalled House-Senate conference negotiations on the thorny issues of cutting Social Security and defense spending, increases in "user" costs of VA mortgages nevertheless are part of the politically sensitive problem of making meaningful cuts in the overblown U.S. budget. The Reagan-backed proposal to increase housing finance "user" fees has raised hackles on top leaders of the Mortgage Bankers Assn. and the National Assn. of Home Builders.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 2007 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Just months after raising rush-hour prices to nearly $10, operators of the 91 Express Lanes are raising some off-hour prices on the toll lanes that run down the center of the congested Riverside Freeway. The new fares begin Sunday. The Orange County Transportation Authority refers to the sliding toll fees as congestion-based pricing -- as traffic grows thicker, prices climb. The idea is that the higher price will discourage some motorists from using the lanes, thus thinning traffic.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2007 | Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
Given the task of closing a gaping budget shortfall for the coming school year, Los Angeles schools Supt. David Brewer has angered leaders of after-school youth groups with his proposal that the groups pay to use school district athletic fields and other facilities. Brewer included the so-called pay to play proposal among many cost-saving measures aimed at closing a $95-million shortfall in the $6.
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