At a time when the city of Los Angeles faces an overwhelming $1 billion budget deficit, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is seeking to impose a sales tax that would help pay for raises for the city’s employees, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
The employee raises are estimated to cost taxpayers $167 million over a period of three years. The mayor and Police Chief Charlie Beck are urging voters to support the sales tax hike on the Mar. 5 ballot, which would increase the rate to 9.5 percent, one of the highest percentages in California.
Due to the projected costs of the income raises, it will be equal to three-fourths of the new revenue that Los Angeles expects to receive if the sales tax measure is approved next month.
Thousands of civil servants that belong to the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, an organization that represents trash truck drivers, custodians, landscapers and other employees, are scheduled to receive two wage increases: 3.75 percent was given last summer, 1.75 percent will be handed out on Jul. 1 and a 5.5 percent hike is slated for Jan. 1, 2014.