When the Los Angeles City Council is low on cash, they tend not to look to their own overfunded executive offices -- or alleged untouchables like the corrupt, bulging Housing Authority -- for the answer.
Nope: They look to their broke-ass constituents, already drowning in a dismal economy (even worse as of today, we hear), if not completely jobless.
In a report prepared by Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller and being mulled by City Councilmembers, in which Miller proposes 15-odd ways the city could fix its budget crisis without voter consent, a few hidden taxes stand out as particularly insulting:
Formalize and post no-parking for all street sweeping areas ($30 million per year)
City sweeps 4,400 miles of streets on a weekly basis and posts "no parking Tuesday 12pm-6am" type signs on the swept streets. City also sweeps about 8,000 miles of streets that are not posted. These are swept every 4 weeks. If the un-posted streets were posted and enforced additional parking fine revenue ... would be generated.
Ambulance Billings ($3.5 million per year)
Explore feasibility of charging for "treatment/non-transport" for any medical treatment provided at the scene (Medicare non-reimbursable). Currently, the City only charged for the cost of transporting patients to the hospital.
New recovery fees for L.A. Fire Department
Charge stand-by fees for special events. Charge for the cost of removing standing or rushing water. Charge individuals for rescue services, as authorized by the State Government Code.
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And here's one that would require voter approval, for good reason:
Recovery fee for cost of 911 and dispatch operations ($65 million per year)
A fee charged per line on every phone bill. Amount designed to recover the cost of the emergency call center. ... Preliminary estimate is a fee of $2.25/line/mo.
Miller includes some other privatization ideas -- like for parking garages (long messy history behind that one) and the L.A. Zoo -- but the fact that indirect taxation is even on the table at a time like this is damn silly. Insult to injury: The wealthiest Californians of all continue to pay no taxes at all.