While Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s new budget proposal does not take a slash and burn approach to fixing the city’s budget deficit, we don’t understand why he was unable to include at least a small token in the $8.1 billion fiscal plan for the city’s small businesses.
It’s unlikely anyone will strongly argue against more police and fire personnel, longer library hours or better 911 response times, but given all the recent news about the city’s sad state of affairs when it comes to creating jobs, it seems helping businesses – or at least the small businesses that these days are creating what few new jobs we have – would get some incentives to do more.
Following the most recent UCLA Economic Forecast that stated there’s been no job growth in the city for two decades, and the release of the L.A. 2020 Commissions’ recent dire report that major changes are needed in the city to improve its financial outlook, it’s hard to get a handle on the alternative view of Los Angeles as a city on the mend.
Garcetti’s picture of an L.A. that’s on its way up is, however, not without merit. The fact is that in some sectors the city is seeing improvement, but that’s not hard given how far it had fallen. So we guess the truth is somewhere in between the two views of Los Angeles.
We had hoped the Mayor would make a down payment, even a very small one, on his promise to lower the city’s business taxes and eliminate them over time.
Nothing will do more to cure of the city’s problems than new and existing businesses hiring more workers, making the small business community more secure and giving them the incentive to raise the pay of low-wage workers.
The Mayor’s doubling of the budget for sidewalk repair is a good start to a problem that desperately needed to be addressed. Hopefully he will continue to add to that pot in the near future.
As the city council begins the budget review process, we urge them to keep the small businesses in their district in mind.