Monday, February 21, 2011

"Measure O would allow L.A. to impose oil drilling extraction tax"

Jessica Levinson quoted in this article by Kevin Modesti about Measure O, a measure on the March 8th Los Angeles ballot.

Here is an excerpt:

The oil industry's unpopularity will indeed help Measure O, said Jessica Levinson...

"The more proponents use the phrases `oil companies' and `high profits,' the better they're going to do," Levinson said. "The way to make an initiative a winner is to say you want to stick it to oil companies, politicians or lobbyists."

Levinson added: "I would say, yes, they are targeting an unpopular group. But that, in and of itself, doesn't make it improper."

The oil-tax proposal is one of two measures on the March ballot that aim to raise revenue for the city. The other, Measure M, would impose a 5 percent tax on the gross receipts of medical-marijuana dispensaries. Measure M opponents say it's illegal to tax medicine and nonprofit organizations.

In the case of oil extraction, Levinson said, most voters are likely to conclude it's fair for Los Angeles to impose the same kind of tax that neighboring cities have.

"It's just a question of what the (amount) should be," she said.

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