Struggling Calif. cities looking to tax hikes

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Associated Press

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 30 at 5:02 PM

STANTON, Calif. (AP) — California's most financially troubled cities may have found a new strategy. City leaders are declaring fiscal emergencies so they can quickly get tax hike initiatives on November ballots.

Cities are turning most often to an increase in the local sales tax. But there also are proposals for hikes on utility taxes, parcel taxes and, in the Los Angeles-area city of El Monte, a soda tax.

Three California cities have resorted to bankruptcy to solve their financial troubles this summer, drawing attention to the threat of insolvency.

In other struggling towns, leaders say they do not want to wait until they run out of money to take action. La Mirada, Fairfield and Culver City are among other communities that declared fiscal emergencies this year, placing sales tax increases on their ballots.

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