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Friday, October 9, 2015
Long Beach City Council approves fee increases
Residents question rate hikes at meeting
Herald file photo

The City Council approved increases last week in residential parking permit fees; water and sewer and sanitation rates; and bus fares, a measure that officially balances the recently approved budget and is aimed at generating more revenue.

Many of the rates have not increased in years, and though officials said that residents who remain displaced by Hurricane Sandy will catch a break if they apply for a waiver for sanitation fees while their water and sewer rates remain unchanged, some residents at the June 17 meeting said that homeowners couldn’t afford the new fees.

“The rates are outrageous,” resident Joe McAuley told the council.

City officials touted the $84.6 million budget, approved on May 20, as the administration’s third consecutive balanced spending plan, and the second that stayed within the state tax cap. It includes a 1.2 percent property tax cut, reducing taxes on the average home by nearly $35, thanks to an $8.2 million bond measure to cover the remainder of an “inherited” deficit from 2012, which allowed the city to eliminate a three-year deficit-reduction tax surcharge a year early.

While the budget includes a tax cut, the fee increases — approved in the budget — include a $100 increase in residential refuse and garbage charges.

As was recently pointed out by the state comptroller’s office, in order to see any revenue, the city was required to pass resolutions authorizing the fee increases.

The state also noted $300,000 in the budget that the city has set aside for contingencies, saying that the city charter did not authorize such an appropriation and recommending that the city amend it. The council did just that, part of an effort to avoid having to draw down the city’s fund balance, which officials said created an “inherited fiscal crisis” two years ago.


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The west end bungalow community's revenue ideas are idiotic. Long Beach doesn't need parking meters. Tell the City to stop wasteful spending such as putting political hacks kids on the city payroll, or wasting money at the MLK Center to appease the blacks living over there, or close down the library annexes, or end wasteful union overtime, or reduce the amount of city councilmen positions since we don't have council districts. The west end gets awy with paying less taxes anyway. A family with a west end hous is paying fa less property taxes than other parts of Long Beach yet west enders can send the same or een more kids to the public school for far less tax payments. Stop complaining about west end parking- you choose to live in a winterized summer bungalow without adequate space so deal with the parking. Get rid of your car or move to a bigger house. Its not the city's fault. Tell the city to stop spending on stupid wasteful things to reduce your taxes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | Report this

You mention bus fare hikes, but please let us know what the proposed hikes are. It is so insane that the roads and parking spots are so choked with cars, the City seems to be discouraging people from riding the buses. I don't think they've ever had an advertising campaign to encourage riding the buses. Bus routes and services have been cut over the years, with one absurd exception: The City added an overnight "drunk bus" route. They don't care about the commuters or shoppers, but want to make sure the out-of-town drinkers can spend their money all night in the bars. If they don't take the LIRR, this way they can get easy parking near the station, and get over the bridge before they kill anybody. Hence, "we have no DUI problem here in Long Beach."

Saturday, June 28, 2014 | Report this
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