With the local economic impact of the writers strike now pegged at $400 million to $2.5 billion, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday called on producers to return to the bargaining table to resolve the seven-week dispute. “These are our constituents, middle-class workers,” council President Eric Garcetti said after a hearing by the City Council’s Housing, Commerce and Economic Development Committee. “It is costing tens of millions of dollars to the city’s budget and we cannot allow this strike to go on. … It is not only the writers and actors, it is the restaurant owners, the florists, the caterers.” L.A. already has begun to feel the impacts of the strike by the Writers Guild of America, with a dramatic reduction in sales tax, said Rex Oliff, finance specialist for the City Administrative Office. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe city already was facing the reality of a slowing economy, but with the writers strike, sales tax revenue has dropped to only 1 percent growth compared to last year. “This is money that we use for police and fire, libraries and parks,” Councilman Herb Wesson said. “It is the money we have available so we can do our job to provide services to the public.” Oliff said the sales tax has served as a barometer on the state of the overall economy, and the city generally needs to see 3 percent growth each year to maintain services. Jack Kyser of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. said the strike has affected about 15,000 workers directly in the entertainment industry and has resulted in the loss of more than $120 million in salaries and $240 million in other spending. John Bowman of the Writers Guild said his union stands ready to return to the bargaining table and said it was the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers that walked away. “We have started negotiations with individual production companies, hoping we can reach agreement with them to get people back to work,” Bowman said. He would not identify any of the companies that have agreed to start talks. Officials with AMPTP blamed the writers for cutting off production on more than 74 TV shows. And, while they did not respond directly to the City Council request to resume negotiations, a statement released said they appreciated the concern of city officials. “We are cognizant of the harm caused to employees within our industry and the overall Los Angeles economy,” the statement said. [email protected] 213-978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!