Hello my name is Marvin McCoy a longtime Inglewood resident and I want to commend you on your recent article, Inglewood finds money to pay for people mover: tax the city’s residents, highlighting issues with the newly formulated housing protections Department within the City.
In reading the City’s staff report I cannot understand any justifiable reasoning for the City creating a Department where it seems that the fees generated are mainly going to pay inflated salaries of executives.
In saying this I caution the residents of this City to reign in this councils tendency and growing appetite to assess fees when they deem it either fit or “necessary”. My concerns generally fall along the line that these are illegal taxes disguised as “fees” that not only Inglewood will turn to but other municipalities will employ to cover holes in their budgets.
I’m sorry these seems nothing but a money grab by the Mayor and highly questionable and possibly illegal. Not only are these fees cumbersome to small mom and pop property owners that normally pay $20 per unit, they have increased these fees to $84-$168 per unit, that the owner can pass on to their tenants on a monthly basis.
This Department is designed to protect but seems redundant and unnecessary as many of these functions and or services are already being provided by the city’s finance department and code enforcement. My guess is there will be an overwhelming amount of property owners mad that their annual registration taxes have quadrupled.
The staff report doesn’t address whether property owners will continue to pay the $20 per unit annual tax in addition to these new “fees”. That will certainly overwhelm the two Revenue Inspectors who barely bring in tax revenue from existing businesses as is. Perhaps Mayor Butts has zero confidence in Revenue Manager Maria Heaney who helped his girlfriend fudge her payroll tax obligations to the Internal Revenue Service.
In closing we should collectively, as a city, be very careful going down this rabbit hole as with the anticipated financial downturn from the Covid -19 crisis and the the financial impact on the City and the possible delay and loss of funds with the Sofi stadium opening delay. Without proper checks and balances, who says that this City won’t implement other illegal taxes under the rouse of calling them fees whenever they want to bypass voters to increase revenue. This city has a pattern of taking away our voting power dating back to the phony petition we signed to put the NFL stadium initiative on a voting ballot.
It is to my understanding that the City has already earmarked 2 million dollars, presumably from the city’s reserves, to establish this Department, despite the staff report stating the department opening would be delayed. I’d be curious to see a copy of those expenditures of these multi-million dollar “renovations” to the 7th floor of City Hall and vehicle leases pertaining to “enforcement” of the ordinance. Why isn’t the Inglewood Housing Authority tasked with this monitoring?