L.A. mayor to argue in favor of phone tax

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From staff reports Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will write the argument in favor of the revised telephone-users’ tax on the February ballot and the California Taxpayers Association will write the argument against the measure. The City Council voted last week to declare a fiscal emergency and put the Communications Users Tax on the ballot in an effort to preserve $270 million collected each year under the tax. Placement of the tax on the Feb. 5 presidential primary ballot comes amid concern that a judge could soon invalidate the current 10 percent phone tax – which brings in $270 million of the city’s $7 billion budget. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The communications industry challenged the current tax after the federal government last year backed off a tax that the city had levied since 1967. The new measure would lower the tax rate to 9 percent, but would expand the services that can be taxed to include new telecommunications technology, such as Voice Over Internet Protocol. City officials have estimated the proposed tax – which supporters intend to promote as a reduced tax – would raise about $243 million annually. They said they don’t have estimates on how much the new taxes on “emerging” technologies will raise. Villaraigosa has said losing the tax revenue would jeopardize essential city services, but opponents have argued the city is not in a financial emergency. last_img read more