A Los Angeles City Councilman wants to get rid of private money in politics by approving a public financing scheme potentially funded by taxing members of the business community.

Councilman Mike Bonin, reacting to stories that big time developers try to persuade public officials to support their projects with campaign contributions, thinks its time to expand the city’s public financing system. His proposal seeks a full public financing system. Currently, Los Angeles City has a limited public matching fund if candidates meet certain requirements.

When a previous attempt at full public financing was introduced a decade ago, the plan was abandoned partly due to the cost. Despite being backed by then city council member and current mayor, Eric Garcetti, along with other members of the council, the plan was rebuffed after the city’s Chief Legislative Analyst reported to the council that public financing would require a deep dig into into the city’s General Fund or a new tax.

Confronting the cost question, Bonin suggested that fees on development and a severance tax on oil and gas extraction could be levied.

While it’s an old political ploy to seek a tax on “someone else” besides the general public—and identify industries that are constantly hammered with negative assessments—the business community as a whole best beware.

Business is too often the target for those who want to seek revenue for a variety of public goods. While today the development and traditional energy industries may be in the crosshairs, other businesses could be susceptible in the future. The end result: more burdens on business, more hurdles for job creation.

For those looking for revenue, adding costs to business is not a simple out, as it may seem. Housing and energy costs would be affected by this proposal. The cost of living in a costly city likely would go up.

If public financing of campaigns is a good idea–and that debate is not the focus of this piece–shouldn’t the public as a whole be responsible for public financing?