BENEFITS OF A NEW
The More Truth You Know About It,
The More You'll Like It!
Now that the question of Valley Independence is cleared for the November 5,
2002 ballot, its time to focus on the benefits of a new Valley City. We
encourage everyone to read the actual LAFCO Resolution, which is what you, as
voters will be voting on in November. The resolution spells out all the terms
and condition for the creation of the new city and the allocation of assets,
revenues, services and personnel. If approved it becomes the Law that the new
and old city must comply with and it provides. We also encourage you to read the
final executive officer’s report and budget for the new City. The LAFCO final
resolution and reports can be found at http://valleyvote.org/LAFCOStudydocs.htm.
If you read these reports you will find that NONE of the doom and gloom claims
made by the anti-Valley campaign of Larry Levine, Jeff Daar or Mayor Hahn are
valid. In fact, the more “truth” you know about Valley Cityhood, the more
you will like it.
A vote for an independent Valley City is a vote for:
Control – local priorities such as public safety, traffic, gangs, graffiti,
schools, creating a more inviting business environment, and
solving neighborhood problems can be met.
Keeping Valley Taxes in the
Valley – As an independent city the Valley will get to keep an
extra 1.3 billion dollars it already pays in just the first 20 years. LAFCO
has determined that the Valley currently pays $128 million more in taxes
than we get back in services each year. Over 20 years if we stay with LA
that will be $2.6 billion dollars. The LAFCO resolution provides that if we
become a city the $128 million per year will be reduced by 5% per year over
20 years until it is zero. This gives LA City Hall 20 years to adjust its
budget by 2%. (This year they had one year to adjust their budget by 5% due
to revenue shortfalls and did so without raising taxes or reducing services
so 2% over 20 years is certainly doable) If the Valley becomes a city,
Valley residents will have an additional 1.3 Billion dollars to work with.
It is money we currently pay, but don’t get to keep. $1.3 Billion is a lot
of money that can pay for increased police protection, cleaner streets,
paramedics, increase services for the needy, attract business and jobs back,
or address other important Valley priorities.
Smaller more efficient and
accountable government – research shows that smaller cities are
more efficient. San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio all
large southwest cities closer in size to the Valley on average operate for
80% of what LA costs to operate. Smaller Cities like Burbank, Glendale, West
Hollywood, etc. operate for about half of what LA costs to operate.
Smaller Council Districts –Valley
Council districts will be small and compact with only 95,000 residents in
each. This will allow your councilperson to focus on your local problems.
Los Angeles City Councilpersons represent 250,000 people.
Lower Taxes – LAFCO
has confirmed that taxes in the new Valley City will be reduced by $30
million per year through the discontinuation of the City of LA documentary
transfer tax. Even after this tax cut LAFCO has confirmed that the Valley
City will have a healthy 5% annual reserve.
Better Neighborhood Police
Protection – the Valley currently receives only half the police
protection on a per capita basis than the rest of Los Angeles. We have 1.1
officers per thousand residents; they have 2.2 officers per thousand
residents. Furthermore, there are only 5 police stations in the Valley half
of LA, but 13 police stations in the other half. More than ten years ago
Valley residents approved a bond to fund construction of a sixth Valley
police station yet construction still has not even begun. Meanwhile, violent
crime this year in the Valley is up 80%!!!
A Valley City will lead to better
schools – Opponents are wrong when they say a new City will not
have anything to do with improving education. LAUSD is created under the LA
City Charter yet the council members and Mayor disavow any ability to
address the quality of education in Los Angeles. As our own Valley City our
Mayor and Council will be outspoken on reforms and improvements for the
Valley Schools. If reforms do not materialize then as a separate City we
will be in a much stronger position to create a separate Valley School
District. We will protect the teachers and employees just as we did the City
employees. Mayor Hahn opposes breaking up the school district too, so as
long as we belong to Los Angeles City we will never have our own school
Improved Housing and Economic
Development – The City of Los Angeles spends only 1% of the
City’s budget for the poor and needy. That is why the problem is getting
worse not better. Other cities spend much more – Glendale 20%, Burbank
13%. A Valley City will make more money available so that Valley residents
have decent housing, better jobs, and job training other programs to help
those in need. Remember, if we create our own city we will get to keep an
additional 1.3 Billion dollars that we already pay, some of which could pay
for housing programs and toward economic development.
Reduced cost of doing business
– A Valley City will work to create a more vibrant healthy business
environment. The Los Angeles City oppressive gross receipts tax is chasing
good business and jobs out of the LA and the Valley to other cities. There
are virtually no Fortune 500 companies left. Mayor after Mayor talk about
fixing this, but nothing ever happens. VICA and other Valley business groups
have complained for years. As a Valley City we have an opportunity to cut
this business tax.
More Federal and State Grants for
Valley Communities and Organizations – As a Valley City we can
go to the Federal and State government for our own grants that stay in the
Valley. Currently, only a small portion of grants that come to Los Angeles
City flow to the Valley. Many times none come to the Valley because of
guidelines that require areas within a city to be contiguous. San Diego and
Phoenix, both the size of the Valley get more money in grants per capital
than L.A. does. A Valley City will mean more total dollars in grants will
come to the Region.
A better Quality of Life
– All of the above will result in a substantial improvement in the lives
of Valley residents. Residents of a smaller Los Angeles will reap all of
these same benefits. Over the coming weeks and months we will continue to
provide more information through a series of white papers address each of
the areas residents have asked about including rent control and the job and
benefit protections for city employees.