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NEWS
By Alan N. Boinus | July 7, 2011
Last week, in an effort to create a balanced budget and some fiscal stability in California, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats in the Legislature finally passed a budget over continued Republican intransigence over the Democrats' desire to raise revenues rather than cut services like K-12 schools. Democrats sidestepped Republicans by finding a means to generate revenue without raising taxes (in fact, sales tax rates are down now) by closing a loophole in the law that had allowed Internet giants like Amazon.com and Overstock.com to avoid collecting sales taxes on their Internet sales.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | March 12, 2009
A temporary local half-cent sales tax with a shelf life of six years will be rescinded 3 1/2 years early. The tax was approved by 55.7% of Laguna’s voters in December 2005, with the understanding, but no legal obligation, that the City Council would use the funds for the city’s share of the costs to repair infrastructure destroyed or damaged in the Bluebird Canyon landslide and bank the remainder for a Disaster Relief Fund. The tax was estimated to raise about $11 million over the six-year term, of which the city will have collected almost $8 million by the end of this fiscal year.
NEWS
November 18, 2005
WHAT: A special election will be held Dec. 13 to determine if Laguna Beach will temporarily increase the local sales tax by a half cent to supplement the city's general fund, depleted by repairs to infrastructure damaged in the June 1 landslide in Bluebird Canyon. Measure A will be the only item on the ballot. No arguments against the increase will appear on the ballot because none were submitted. The argument in favor of the increase reads, in part, "The City of Laguna Beach is required to replace over $15 million of streets, sewers and storm drains lost in the Bluebird Canyon slide.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | December 11, 2008
City officials pushed back the date to retire the Measure A sales tax increase, but it will still end three years before the approved sunset. The City Council voted 4-1 to terminate the half-cent sales tax June 30, as recommended by the city staff and the Measure A Oversight Committee. The original recommendation was to terminate the tax March 31, but that was before the city learned that the results of the audit of the roughly $34 million in federal and state funding would be available by January.
NEWS
December 16, 2005
editorialJust before voters underwhelmingly approved the half-cent sales tax hike to shore up the city's finances in the wake of the June 1 landslide, we learned that the cost of emergency repairs to Bluebird Canyon are running over budget -- by at least a million dollars. Community Recovery Coordinator Bob Burnham blames the overages on "lack of planning," which is understandable given the true emergency nature of the repairs. But this admission should ring a loud warning bell to city officials and the community that the landslide costs could escalate beyond the most conservative estimates of the experts.
NEWS
By By Jean Raun and Linda Brown | November 4, 2005
The Laguna Beach Unit of the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast supports Measure A -- the special election measure which would temporarily raise the sales tax in Laguna Beach in order to help offset budget cuts in the city's general fund resulting from the landslide. The City of Laguna Beach has an obligation to restore proper access to Bluebird Canyon and to make necessary repairs so that rains, winds and potential fires will not create further disasters for the people who live adjacent to the slide area and in the canyon beyond.
NEWS
September 15, 2006
The City Council decided not to give a tax break to residents whose purchases out of town have fallen under the half-cent special sales tax that went into effect July 1. The tax is designed to offset the costs of the Bluebird Canyon landslide and was approved by voters last spring — before the city learned it would receive federal aid to foot the bill for repairs to the slide-damaged infrastructure. The council rejected a proposal Tuesday by City Manager Ken Frank to offer rebates to residents who pay the tax on big-ticket items they purchase outside of Laguna through sellers who have outlets in California — or who have items delivered from an out-of-town source to their Laguna Beach homes.
NEWS
March 20, 2009
Good government planning versus poor planning is markedly evident in the fact that Laguna Beach consumers and local businesses will see a half-cent local sales tax go away June 1 ? but not before the state raises its sales tax by 1 cent starting April 1. The half-cent extra tax ? to offset expenses from the disastrous Bluebird Canyon landslide in 2005 ? is ending three years earlier than it was originally intended to. The 1-cent sales tax hike ? to keep the state government afloat ?
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | July 29, 2010
Repair bills for infrastructure damaged in the 2005 Bluebird Canyon landslide have been paid, with enough money left from a temporary sales tax to bulk up a disaster fund. At the July 20 meeting, the City Council approved nearly $34 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state to pay for all but $2.5 million of the total cost of the repairs, covered by the Disaster Relief Fund. The Laguna Beach County Water District and the city's Street Lighting Fund also contributed funds for repairs of their property damaged in the slide.
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NEWS
July 14, 2011
Bank of America gives out $60K in grants Continuing its support of art in local communities, Bank of America presented $60,000 in grants July 7 to the Art-A-Fair Foundation, Festival of Arts, Laguna Art Museum, Sawdust Festival and the Laguna Playhouse. Those grants were part of the $290,000 Bank of America has provided to local arts nonprofits this year. So far this year, 16 Orange County arts and culture nonprofits have received grants, including Orange County Children's Therapeutic Arts Center, Orange County Museum of Art, Pacific Symphony, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory.
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NEWS
By Alan N. Boinus | July 7, 2011
Last week, in an effort to create a balanced budget and some fiscal stability in California, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats in the Legislature finally passed a budget over continued Republican intransigence over the Democrats' desire to raise revenues rather than cut services like K-12 schools. Democrats sidestepped Republicans by finding a means to generate revenue without raising taxes (in fact, sales tax rates are down now) by closing a loophole in the law that had allowed Internet giants like Amazon.com and Overstock.com to avoid collecting sales taxes on their Internet sales.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | July 29, 2010
Repair bills for infrastructure damaged in the 2005 Bluebird Canyon landslide have been paid, with enough money left from a temporary sales tax to bulk up a disaster fund. At the July 20 meeting, the City Council approved nearly $34 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state to pay for all but $2.5 million of the total cost of the repairs, covered by the Disaster Relief Fund. The Laguna Beach County Water District and the city's Street Lighting Fund also contributed funds for repairs of their property damaged in the slide.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | June 26, 2009
The sun will set on a temporary half-cent sales tax Wednesday. Having met the twin goals of helping the city fund its share of the costs to restore infrastructure destroyed or damaged in the Bluebird Canyon landslide and to bank the remainder for a Disaster Relief Fund, the tax will be rescinded. The tax will be stricken from the books 2 ½ years ahead of the term limit. ?Everybody was pleased,? said Mayor Kelly Boyd, who announced the tax sunset at the June 16 council meeting.
NEWS
March 20, 2009
Good government planning versus poor planning is markedly evident in the fact that Laguna Beach consumers and local businesses will see a half-cent local sales tax go away June 1 ? but not before the state raises its sales tax by 1 cent starting April 1. The half-cent extra tax ? to offset expenses from the disastrous Bluebird Canyon landslide in 2005 ? is ending three years earlier than it was originally intended to. The 1-cent sales tax hike ? to keep the state government afloat ?
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | March 12, 2009
A temporary local half-cent sales tax with a shelf life of six years will be rescinded 3 1/2 years early. The tax was approved by 55.7% of Laguna’s voters in December 2005, with the understanding, but no legal obligation, that the City Council would use the funds for the city’s share of the costs to repair infrastructure destroyed or damaged in the Bluebird Canyon landslide and bank the remainder for a Disaster Relief Fund. The tax was estimated to raise about $11 million over the six-year term, of which the city will have collected almost $8 million by the end of this fiscal year.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | January 8, 2009
Councilwoman Verna Rollinger has lost no time in making her presence felt on the dais. The council voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of her recommendation to create a committee to research ways to help local businesses. “I am recommending an appointed committee at [City Manager Ken Frank’s] suggestion, which I think was a good one, to speed up the organization [process],” Rollinger said. “The Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors Bureau have expressed their willingness to participate.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | December 11, 2008
City officials pushed back the date to retire the Measure A sales tax increase, but it will still end three years before the approved sunset. The City Council voted 4-1 to terminate the half-cent sales tax June 30, as recommended by the city staff and the Measure A Oversight Committee. The original recommendation was to terminate the tax March 31, but that was before the city learned that the results of the audit of the roughly $34 million in federal and state funding would be available by January.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | December 11, 2008
When City Manager Ken Frank says the city is solvent, council members count on it. The city manager, known to be financially conservative, reported Tuesday that the city has about $2.9 million more than expected. However, he advised the council in his mid-year budget report to reserve the windfall to carry the city through the next few years of recession and to expect some belt-tightening to keep the city on a even financial keel. “If Ken says the city has money, you can take it to the bank,” Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson said.
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