At the worst possible time -- when the city of Los Angeles is facing a $212 million deficit -- it appears that a vast majority of business owners in L.A. have so far ducked their duty to register for a city business tax license.
With the registration deadline of Monday approaching, only eight percent of businesses in the city have gone on the record to pay their business tax for the next year. "Businesses who are paying their fair share of the city taxes should not bear the burden of those who do not," said City Controller Wendy Greuel.
Those businesses that don't register by March 1 have been threatened with interest and penalties. City business taxes bring more than $400 million a year to city coffers. About 368,000 businesses have registered with the city in recent years, though City Hall states that 423,000 business owners have been identified and issued requests to register.
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"In a time when we are taking unprecedented action to balance the city's budget, business tax revenue has never been more essential to reducing our deficit and assuring that vital city services are maintained,'' Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.