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Long Beach Residents Need to Know What Potential Liability Is on Telephone Tax Case

The Sacramento Bee has just disclosed that a case against the City of Long Beach could possibly cost millions if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiff. (

I asked for this information several months ago when I discovered that the City of Los Angeles had publicly acknowledged in its budget statement that a similar suit had been filed against the City of Los Angeles and that the potential liability could be up to $750 million.

The suit is about the City collecting a telephone users tax despite a federal telephone excise tax being eliminated.

To put this in the proper perspective, $750 million equals 17% of the City of Los Angeles' year’s General Fund.

In both the LA and Long Beach cases, the plaintiffs are suing for refunds for residents claiming that the taxes were illegally collected by the City.

I asked for information on how much at risk the City of Long Beach is because of the suit against us by John McWilliams.

I still believe the residents of Long Beach need to know what potentially is coming our way. Last time I asked for the information it was put into a closed session. I think now that everyone who reads the Sacramento Bee knows about this case, it is time to let residents of Long Beach know what to expect.

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