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West Hollywood Puts Billboard Tax on March Ballot

Los Angeles City Council mulling similar measure



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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