City of Beverly Hills Business License Tax, Measure P (March 2009)
If Measure P had been approved, it would have:
- Revised the 30-year-old oil extraction tax by eliminating the flat rate per barrel of oil and linking the tax to the price of oil.
- Modified the flat fee paid by businesses related to the number of people a given business employs. This type of flat tax is charged to businesses that provide professional services, personal services or operate commercial parking lots in Beverly Hills. The flat tax would have been converted to a method for calculating the tax based on gross receipts.
- Taxes for businesses headquartered in Beverly Hills would have been based on gross payroll rather than number of employees.
These changes would have raised between $5.2 million and $7.2 million a year for the city’s general fund, starting in 2010.
- These final election results are from the Los Angeles County election office.
Supporters included City staff and some members of the City Council who were concerned that the City’s expenses would start outpacing revenues. "Currently our City is meeting expectations as related to our financial situation," said the City’s Chief Financial Officer Scott Miller.
Local attorney and former mayor Mark Egerman was a Measure P supporter.
- The Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition to Measure P in late January 2009. Chairwoman Vicky Mense said, "Many local businesses have expressed serious concern to the chamber about adding taxes during an economic recession. The board agreed that Measure P was not widely vetted in the business community and would create economic hardship for local businesses and consumers."
- Beverly Hills city councilwoman Nancy Krasne opposed Measure P, saying, "A recession is not the time to impose new taxes. I'm opposed to Measure P and you can quote me. We should be promoting local businesses, not burdening them even more."
- One city resident said the City should stop wasting money and then it wouldn't need to raise taxes, citing as an example, "At the crosswalk on Dayton and Canon way, they where resurfacing the road, a month later they dug it up and re-did the crosswalk. It was unnecessary. They do this all over the City. They can save money by not doing unnecessary things. They need to look at where they are spending money rather than taxing us."
The question on the ballot:
|Measure P: "Shall the ordinance that amends the method for calculating certain business taxes in the City of Beverly Hills to increase locally controlled revenue for city services and operations—such as, police, fire, paramedics, parks, and street repair—by converting the per barrel flat tax on oil companies, and the per employee flat tax on certain other businesses—including, professionals and commercial parking operations—to taxes based on gross receipts or gross payroll, be adopted? "|
Path to the ballot
The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously in November 2008 to place the tax proposal on the March ballot.
- City's description of Measure P
- Letter from the city manager regarding Measure P
- Analysis of Measure P by city attorney
- Measure P staff report
- Los Angeles Times, "Returns across L.A. County show voters were in a revenue-raising mood", March 4, 2009
- Los Angeles Business Journal, "Chamber to Oppose Beverly Hills Tax Measure", January 28, 2009
- Beverly Hills Courier, "Krasne Voices Opposition To Measure P — Tax Plan Questioned", January 15, 2009