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Vote Delayed on Graffiti Ordinance

The Los Angeles City Council, weighing an ordinance to clean up graffiti and divided on whether property owners or all taxpayers should pay for it, Tuesday delayed a vote until a budget is adopted in June.

The ordinance by Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky would give property owners 15 days to remove graffiti from their buildings or face having the city do it and send bills. Officials estimate the cost at $200 to $400 an incident.

Councilman Joel Wachs and others argued that the removal should be done by city crews, with the $11.3-million-a-year program financed by a 0.75% tax on water and power bills.

Conceding that he lacked the votes for passage, Yaroslavsky agreed to the postponement. But he predicted that his version will ultimately be approved.

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“This council will never pass a tax hike for graffiti removal when they see in June that this city is nearly $200 million in the hole going into the next fiscal year,” he said.


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