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Billboard Tax and Pension Reform Could be on March Ballot

Photo by fredcamino via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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L.A. has suffered a blow this year in regards to the budget. Job cuts, furloughs, impacted city services and more have had a ripple effect on the pubic (library hours shortened by two days, for one). To avoid more of this in the future, city officials are acting now to save the budget, which includes going to the voters at the March 8th municipal election. November 3rd is the deadline to place items on that ballot, so this week the politicians are at work.

Today Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Controller Wendy Greuel announced support for a proposed measure that would increase the amount a newly hired sworn cop or firefighter contributes to their pension -- from 9% to 11% -- and decrease some of the pension amounts after retirement: 40% of their salary instead of 50% after 20 years of service and 55% instead of 65% after 25 years. However, for those who serve at least 33 years, they would still earn 90% of their salary, as approved by voters in 2001.

The "plan is designed to save $173 million over 30 years for every 1,000 new police officers and firefighters hired," noted the LA Times. "Even in a recession, the city is hiring roughly 300 new offers each year, [City Administrator Miguel] Santana said last week."