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Around the Halls: March 1 - 3, 2010

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, March 01, 2010, at 09:01AM
_IGP9728.JPG Ed Fuentes

Today is Monday, March 1, and don't expect to find much policy working its way through City Hall this week. City Council's focus continues to be singularly dedicated to budget issues, as it was for all of February.

Still, a few items of interest sneak through. The tax rate for some Internet businesses may come down, the city may look to consolidate its IT functions, and Councilman Huizar wants to know what the City plans to do about newsstands.

MONDAY: Council holds a special meeting, while Public Safety and Budget & Finance committees meet on their normal day.

CF 10-0200, a proposal to generate some income by allowing the Fire Department to contract to provide on-call helicopter services for other cities, will make an incredibly short journey through Council today. At 9am, it's on the agenda for Public Safety. At 10am, it's the first thing on a three-item Council agenda.

At Budget & Finance, CF 09-1914 is a proposal to reclassify Internet-based businesses such as application service providers for tax purposes. Currently, such businesses are taxed at the professional services rate of $5.07 per $1000 of gross receipts. The change would lower their tax rate to that of multimedia businesses, which are taxed at $1.01 per $1,000. General fund revenues would be reduced $3.4 million, but the city believes that not making the change would lead firms to relocate, lowering revenues even farther.

TUESDAY: Council's in session, as are three committees.

At Council, item 14 is CF 09-3041, a motion looking for a charter change that would allow City employees to be transfered to proprietary departments (DWP, Airport, etc) without their prior consent. Without this, the motion says that the city would be able to get only $12 million of the $85 million it thinks it can save through the moves.

At Information Technology and Government Affairs, CF 10-0201 is a motion seeking to consolidate IT functions between city departments. The motion says that the City spends $250 million annually on IT and IT-related staff.

WEDNESDAY: Council and four committees have filed agendas.

At Housing, Community and Economic Development, CF 10=0120 is a CRA report seeking permission to buy a parcel of land next to the Chinatown library where the agency hopes to build a park.

At Council, item 3 is a CAO report on the recent downgrades to the City's bond ratings.

At Public Works, CF 08-3167 is a proposed ordinance requiring eateries with outdoor dining to get a permit, the fees from which would fund inspection for code compliance.

Also at Public Works is CF 10-0096, a Huizar motion asking Street Services for a report with recommendations on how and where to permit newsstands citywide. Almost all of the newsstands Downtown are in Huizar's district and located along the Broadway corridor.


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