City Council to Place Mayor’s Tax Measure on Ballot


By Jorge Casuso

July 8, 2022 — Tuesday’s city council is due to place Mayor Sue Himmelrich’s real estate transfer tax measure on the November ballot after receiving the required number of voter signatures.

Mandatory voting comes after the Los Angeles County Registrar informed the city clerk on July 1 that the measure had received far more than the 6,930 signatures – 10% of registered voters – to be placed on the November 8 ballot.

The county found 10,363 signatures had been filed for the measure, which would impose a real estate transfer tax of $53 per $1,000 on properties valued at $8 million or more to help pay for the prevention of l homelessness, affordable housing and schools.

Of the signatures submitted, three were removed, 8,413 were verified and 6,940 were deemed sufficient, according to a letter to the City Clerk from County Clerk Dean C. Logan.

Another 1,473 were deemed insufficient and 109 signatures were deemed insufficient because the signatures were duplicates, Logan wrote.

In a report to council, city staff noted that “if the county certifies the petition, the law requires the city council to send the measure to voters.”

Once Council passes the resolution to put the measure on the ballot, supporters and opponents will prepare arguments for and against the measure, and the city attorney will prepare an unbiased analysis.

On Tuesday, the Council is also expected to follow staff’s recommendation and place a rival measure sponsored by Council member Phil Brock on the ballet.

Brock’s measure is much more modest than Himmelrich’s, charging a real estate transfer tax (RETT) of $15 per $1,000 for commercial properties that sell for more than $8 million.

Himmelrich’s measure is expected to generate some $50 million a year, while Brock’s – which exempts single-family homes and only applies to the amount of sales above the threshold – is expected to generate between $6 million and $15 million. dollars per year.

On Tuesday, staff will present to the Board their analysis of Brock’s measure, which warns it could be a “highly volatile” source of revenue (“Staff recommends placing Brock’s transfer tax on ballot , warns of shortcomings”, July 7, 2022).

Two weeks later, he will present a report to Council analyzing the mayor’s measure which focuses on its tax impacts and land use (“Council members request analysis of mayor’s tax measure”, June 10, 2022 ).

Brock and Himmelrich’s measures require a simple majority vote. If both obtain more than 50% of the votes, the one with the most votes will be adopted.


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