The issue was a second round of business tax reform and volunteers on the city’s Business Tax Advisory Committee faced denunciation from Councilman Tony Cardenas for failing to say thanks for modest tax relief in recent years and daring to suggest LA is not “business friendly.”
In an arrogant and shocking display that captured the Council’s sentiment, Cardenas set up Greif — a prominent investment banker, philanthropist and business leader — and Mel Kohn — a highly successful CPA and business leader honored for his public service — by asking how much the 3 percent reduction in gross receipts taxes for five years saved the business community.
Kohn noted business tax revenue is up $150 million despite the $92 million saved by business from the reduced rates, triggering an angry tirade from Cardenas who said he was fed up with criticism of the city when the business community should be saying thanks for the great work by the Council.
Nobody mentioned this Council has pushed the city to the brink of bankruptcy or that just before the business leaders appeared, leaders of city unions demanded the Council back down on layoffs of 246 workers and threatened legal action if furloughs were imposed after July 1.
Council President Eric Garcetti thanked each of the labor leaders for their comments and even did no more than mumble when Cheryl Parisi went far over the two minutes allowed for public comment.