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Last week, the West Hollywood City Council voted to not allow an initiative called the Tax Billboard Act to be placed on the March ballot, which will certainly move the fight to the courts.

It was not apparent to many people who signed a petition to place the Tax Billboard Act on the ballot that it is being put forward by an entity that is backed by an outdoor advertising company called SkyTag, and that it will actually allow for new outdoor advertising to be constructed in West Hollywood.

Video: Excerpts of Discussion at City Council on Tax Billboard Act

A coalition of West Hollywood community members, businesses and civic activists have formed a group called Concerned Neighbors Against Illegal Billboards to fight the Tax Billboard Act.   The group is voicing their support for the West Hollywood City Council’s action to not allow the measure on the ballot.

“In refusing to place the measure on the March 2011 ballot, the City took a stand for upholding the law and sound planning practices in West Hollywood,” said a statement provided by the group.  “Concerned Neighbors and residents throughout West Hollywood now understand that Skytag’s ballot measure’s true intention is to place illegal and unsafe supergraphics on Santa Monica and Beverly Boulevards and are not fooled by the deceptive title of the ballot measure.”

“Business owners throughout West Hollywood are opposed to this shameful attempt to legalize illegal billboards through a convoluted and deceptive ballot measure. This measure is nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing” said Genevieve Morrill, President of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

The group says that the measure was exposed as “illegitimate” by a recent report authored by West Hollywood’s City Attorney, and that questions have been raised about whether or not the paid signature gathers hired to qualify the ballot measure accurately disclosed the full content of the ballot measure when pressuring West Hollywood residents to sign the petition to qualify the ballot initiative.

“It’s unfortunate that a supergraphic company, Skytag, would go to such lengths to deceive the voters of West Hollywood just so that it can skirt the law and maintain illegal supergraphics” said Steven Afriat, spokesperson for Concerned Neighbors Against Illegal Billboards.

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Video: Tax Billboard Act Blocked by Weho City Council, 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

What do you think?

2 Comments

  1. William Board says:

    The Major Billboard Companies united with 3 West Hollywood Councilman to fight the Tax on Billboards in court.

    CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel, Van Wagner, Lamar, Regency and other Billboard Media Companies financially
    support and back West Hollywood Councilmen Jeffery Prang, John Heilman and Abbe Land to take away the right
    of the people to vote on Taxing Billboards in their city.

    The City Attorney for West Hollywood, Michael Jenkins and his wife Attorney Cristi Hogan along with 7 Billboard Company
    lawyers and their lobbyist went to court to challenge the peoples qualified ballot measure to Tax Billboards in West Hollywood, the sign capital of the west coast.
    Directed by Councilmen Jeffery Prang, John Heilman and Abbe Land, the entourage of high priced law firms and their lawyers requested the court to intervene
    in the case to deny the “Tax Billboard Act” certified and qualified initiative from being placed on the March, 2011 ballot.
    No decision has been made by the court at this time and a new hearing has been set for the beginning of December 2010.

    The teaming up of Councilmen Jeffery Prang, John Heilman and Abbe Land with the Major Billboard Companies in court clearly shows the influence and control the Billboard Companies and their lobbyist have on these three councilmen. The rights of the people of West Hollywood are being rejected by these council members in favor of the power of the Major Billboard Companies.

    The overwhelmingly popular “Tax Billboard Act” in West Hollywood will greatly benefit the people and city through significant new revenue created by Taxing Billboards.
    Example of benefits:

    Billboard Tax = over $13,000.00 a year to benefit each citizen of West Hollywood for being forced to see Billboards and Tallwalls
    Over $1 MILLION Dollars every 90 days paid to the City for allowing the posting of Billboards and Tallwalls.
    Over $4.2 Million will be paid annually to benefit the city and People of West Hollywood.
    The Tax Billboard Act DOES NOT ALLOW FOR ANY NEW BILLBOARDS IN WEST HOLLYWOOD.

    WEHO Daily News has not presented the peoples side of the Tax on Billboards…only the 3 City Council members and their
    Billboard Cronies and Lobbyist.

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  2. admin says:

    Thank you for your comment Mr. “Board” … indeed, many people in West Hollywood do support taxing billboards, but do they support your Billboard Tax Act when told that it is being put forward by what people would consider a “billboard” company? Or when they find out that it does provide for new “billboards” to be erected where they are not allowed now? You are clearly playing semantic games when you say “it does not allow for new billboards” when anyone who reads the full text of the measure will plainly see that it does allow for new outdoor advertising (and most people generally refer to outdoor advertising as billboards).

    Weho Daily does our best to cut through PR hype to present the real issues to our readers… as do most media companies. The real issue of interest here are your attempts to conceal the true nature of the Tax Billboard Act so that the people of West Hollywood unwittingly put forward something they otherwise may likely disagree with.

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