Beverly Hills, Too, Loses Sales Tax Revenue

Drops in tourism and luxury car sales are among the reasons why the ritziest cities in Southern California are not impervious to the recession.
February 19, 2009, 7am PST | Judy Chang
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"The fact that famous revenue generators such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Newport Beach are trimming their expenditures and considering service cutbacks underscores the extent of the meltdown in California municipal finances.

Such places are usually shielded from downturns because they cater to the very rich, have diversified their economies and draw high-spending foreign visitors, even when Americans start watching their wallets.

But with property values, incomes and spending plunging across the country -- and the global economy in serious trouble as well -- few places remain unscathed, said Christopher Hoene, director of policy and research at the National League of Cities in Washington, D.C. A survey of city finance officers conducted by the league in December and January found that 83% were cutting services and expenditures, and 80% expected to make further cutbacks in the 12 months beginning in July."

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Published on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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