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LA Sales Tax Increase Would Likely Go to City Employee Raises

At a time when taxpayers are being asked to dig deeper to resolve Los Angeles' chronic budget crisis, city employees are receiving raises that will cost tens of millions of dollars within a few years, according to records obtained by The Times.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, an assortment of City Council members and Police Chief Charlie Beck are urging voters to approve a sales tax hike on the March 5 ballot that would boost the city rate to 9.5% , one of the highest in the state.

At the same time, thousands of police officers, firefighters and civilian employees are in the midst of receiving a two-year series of raises that were backed by the mayor and council. When all the increases are in place for a full year — the fiscal year that starts July 2014 — they will add $167 million annually to the general fund budget, which pays for public safety and other basic services.

Source: LA Times. Read full article. (link)

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