Los Angeles Business Journal

Cities Pour on Sales Taxes

By Howard Fine Friday, August 10, 2012

Hamburger joint owner Art Meier is mad. The proprietor of Art’s Burgers in El Monte, Meier fears losing sales if the city’s voters approve a tax on sugary drinks that would add 12 cents to the cost of a can of Coke.

The emergency move last month by the El Monte City Council to put the measure on the November ballot was unexpected. If it passes, Meier believes it could result in a nightmare for businesses like his, what with keeping track of how many ounces of taxable Coca-Cola, as opposed to nontaxable Diet Coke, customers get from an open fountain, for example.

El Monte isn’t the only city taking this tack. Retailers and business owners in Culver City and La Mirada are among many facing the prospect of unexpected sales tax hikes if voters approve ballot measures in November. This slew of proposed tax hikes was brought on by the increasingly dire financial straits cities face.

Read the full story in the August 13th issue of the Business Journal.