Using Tax Dollars to Promote Tax Increases

Los Angeles County officials are under investigation by a state agency for allegedly using taxpayer money to fund a campaign in support of Measure H, a half-cent sales tax to help the homeless that was approved by voters in March.

A complaint filed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) alleges that in addition to using taxpayer money, the county failed to file any campaign reports for its activity.

A spokesman for HJTA said an estimated $1 million was used by the county to promote the measure and encourage residents to support it.

“The County began a full-blown, multi-faceted, multi-media campaign to support the passage of Measure H,” the complaint states. “The County’s campaign advertisements each unambiguously urge voters to cast a ‘yes’ vote.”

Measure H is projected to raise $355 million per year for 10 years to help homeless people transition into planned affordable housing among other things.

The FPPC is investigating the matter. The county could face a penalty as high as $5,000 per violation. (Source: Los Angeles Daily News, November 30.)

California Tax Foundation   |   1215 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814   |   916.441.0490   |