City Council candidate and boss agree to disagree over sales tax hike measure

JoseGardeaJose Gardea edreyesEd Reyes

Jose Gardea has spent more than a decade working as the loyal and dedicated  Chief of Staff for First District City Councilman Ed Reyes. But now that he is campaigning to replace Reyes, who is termed out of office, as representative of the First District, Gardea has shown that, at least on one issue, he is not going to always follow in his boss’ footsteps.  At a Tuesday night candidate forum in Highland Park, Gardea said he was opposed to a half-percent sales tax hike that will await voters on the March 5 ballot.  That puts Gardea at odds with Reyes, who in November voted to put the sales tax increase before voters to help raise revenue.  “There’s no accountability,” Gardea told the audience in explaining his opposition.

electionlogo2Reyes was one of the 10 council members who voted in favor of the increase, which if approved by voters would raise more than $200 million in revenue and raise the sales tax to 9.5%. But Gardea, 44, said he would have liked to seen a stronger “community component” and more discussion about the proposed tax.

How does Gardea reconcile the difference between him and his boss?

“We agree on something and we disagree on others,” he said in an interview following the forum. “I respect his decision and he respects mine.”



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  3. I very much oppose this sales tax. And I oppose lying that this money will go to police and fire — it will not. As they ALWAYS do, every dollar from this that is given to police or fire will be taken back by giving the department that much less from the general fund!

    IF a new tax is warranted — and that is highly debateable, as city tax income will be rising with the economic rebound — the sales tax is the very wrong way to go. The sales tax COMPLETELY exempts the gazillions of dollars of businesses in this city from paying a single penny of this! They don’t pay sales tax (they don’t buy, they sell, or what little basics they do buy is bought from out of town, and anything they buy for eventual resale is exempt from sales tax), but they certainly use plenty of these services! They will be getting any services this funds for free. If my taxes go up for this, so should their’s — and that should make it so all of our taxes go up a lot less per capita.

    This sales tax is a VERY regressive tax. Oppose it.

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