Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The New York Times has an interesting story today about Vernon, California, a municipality in Los Angeles County that has only 95 residents and 1,800 (mostly industrial) businesses. The human residents (and sole voters) live in small homes, all of which are owned by the City. Given this set-up, the City has a reputation for corruption and anti-democratic practices.
It has clearly monopolized the property tax revenue from the businesses located within its borders (Vernon has a tax base of $4.1 billion) while freed from providing services to the 55,000 workers who work in Vernon and live elsewhere (neighboring Bell, with a population of 40,000, has a property tax base of $1.1 billion).
Now, state government officials have mounted a campaign to legally abolish Vernon and make it part of Los Angeles County. Vernon is fighting back with a PR campaign, and expensive lobbyists and lawyers.
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