Allison B. Cohen

Allison B. Cohen

Sloppy math got me in major trouble with the Los Feliz Business Improvement District (LFVBID) in March after I mailed letters to 300 local business owners that it had “siphoned” more than $1 million in assessments from local businesses during its 13 years of existence.

In fact, the LFVBID has spent $733,000 from 2002 until 2015. The difference in calculations is based on funds received, rather than funds projected.

The issue of what the LFVBID’s assessment actually pays for—as well as the other taxes I pay—became a sore spot for me all March.

I’m no Tea Party member, but I do feel a bit overtaxed—and underserved—these days, especially when I drive over pot-holes all day long and it takes four days for me to mail an envelope from one side of Los Feliz to the other. My children opted out of public school, as schools available to them at the time were, for the most part, poor performing or over crowded.

If I add it all up, I pay a boatload for federal, state, property, business and business improvement taxes each year. And I haven’t even begun to think of all the times I paid sales tax at the cash register.

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, the city is forecasting a $97-million hole in its budget by the current fiscal year’s end, June 30th.

Is it so wrong to want a receipt for what my taxes paid for? Is it so wrong to ask the city why it is still in the red, six years post the Great Recession?

Published March 30, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.

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