I voted against a proposal for the City Council to support a LA County proposed parcel tax on every property in the City to fund "clean water" because the process is wrong. As LA County Supervisor Don Knabe describes it as "under handed" -- 1.1 million property owners are being forced to mail in protests if they don't want the tax. Normally on a tax it is required a 2/3 for approval not a 50+1 which is being proposed.
No one is opposed to "clean water." Long Beach is at the end of the LA and San Gabriel Rivers which cause pollution in our ocean. But the residents of the City of Long Beach aren't causing the pollution -- it is happening upstream. Additionally, we have a $60 million plus surplus of Tidelands funds which are funds we get "in trust" for the state and can only be used in tidelands areas. Use some of these funds to clean up the problem at the mouth of these rivers.
Also our own City staff just pointed out in a memo on December 27th that the specifics of how the tax money will be spent has not been detailed. Which means we aren't even certain how this money will be spent if the taxpayers are burdened with the parcel tax. And, there are no limits on how long this tax will be in place. No sunset clause.
What is most serious is when I asked during Council where was the ordinance that outlined the tax, City staff responded: "We put some of it in your memo and it has been on the County website for several months." Excuse me! You are asking the City Council to support staff initiated work without seeing the full ordinance and then telling the Council that we could check it out on the County website?
The LA County Board of Supervisors is holding a hearing on January 15th to hear protests. The City of Long Beach needed to wait before we jumped to support a parcel tax at this point. Let's insist any tax go on a ballot with specific guidelines how the money will be spent.