AMERICAN NOTES: Taxpayers' Revolt

It does not happen very often, but sometimes, when the taxman bites, taxpayers bite back. Homeowners in Los Angeles County were stunned this July when they were hit with reassessments ranging up to 100%. The Angelenos rebelled. They staged protests, bombarded the county tax assessor with nearly 20,000 appeals and at a recent forum hooted Mayor Tom Bradley and other politicians right off the podium. Getting the thunderous message, the California state legislature empowered the Los Angeles County board of supervisors to reopen hearings on the budget.

Easier said than done, of course. Much of Los Angeles County's $3.3 billion...

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