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West Hollywood Puts Billboard Tax on March Ballot

Los Angeles City Council mulling similar measure

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The West Hollywood (CA) City Council has certified that the Billboard Tax Initiative has met the state’s election-code requirements, and will place on the local ballot for March 2011. Sunset Strip, a neighborhood-activist organization, has spearheaded the initiative, which entails a 7% excise tax on advertising revenues received from billboard leases, video signage, tall walls and other off-premise signage. According to Sunset Strip, the money will be paid to the city (it claims the tax will generate $4 million in annual revenue) and deposited to the city’s general fund in order to expand city services.

A similar billboard-tax initiative has been sent to the Los Angeles City Council for a vote that would place it on that city’s March ballot. The initiative proposes a 12% tax that would reportedly generate $24 million for the city’s annual fund. Both measures were reportedly modeled after Philadelphia’s billboard tax, which was instituted in 2005 and withstood a legal challenge from billboard companies.

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