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EDITORIAL : CITY'S 7% SOLUTION OUTRAGE METER: 7.0.

SOMEWHERE in the bowels of City Hall, there must be a playbook called: ``Fifty ways to shake down the Valley.''

Bureaucrats must have gotten a chuckle out of one in particular, the 7 percent solution.

The way it works is quite simple. Because the city believes it has no obligation to provide city services equally or open satellite offices in far-flung communities like the San Fernando Valley, San Pedro and West Los Angeles, it decided to charge people an extra 7 percent for the convenience of not going downtown to get a special street permit.

In other words, charge the rubes in the burbs more for less.

So Valley residents who need street-use permits to store lumber or other items on the street while a home is being repaired are charged an extra 7 percent by the Bureau of Engineering for processing the permits for the Bureau of Street Maintenance.

Permits can run from $13 to hundreds of dollars.

Imagine the money the city raked in while homeowners in the Valley fixed up their little hovels after the Northridge Earthquake.

City Council members Laura Chick and Cindy Miscikowski saw the extra tax for what it was: an outrageous form of geographical discrimination. They both moved on Tuesday to abolish it.

But we're sure someone will find another way to bring it back.

Maybe bureaucrats can lobby the appointed Charter Reform Commission to write it into the new charter and make it a permanent 7 percent tax.

We can even hear the commission's pitch: Don't think it of it as a surcharge, an onerous burden that's clearly discriminatory and highly questionable. That's so negative and petty.

Think of it as the Golden Handshake Rule, a way for the Valley to give something back to downtown for the privilege of living and breathing.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 7, 1999
Words:301
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