`Mansion Tax’ poised to pass
Supporters of Measure ULA, otherwise known as the “mansion tax,” declared victory Monday after the latest results from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk showed that nearly 56% of voters were approving the city ordinance.
Ordinance ULA seeks an additional tax on property sales that exceed $5 million in the city. If approved, an additional 4% tax would be imposed on sales valued at over $5 million, and sales over $10 million would see a 5.5% tax.
The tax would generate between $600 million and $1.1 billion annually, and a majority of the revenue would go toward affordable housing and tenant assistance programs, backers said.
Laura Raymond, co-chair of the Yes on ULA Coalition, issued a victory statement on Monday afternoon.
“We won this campaign because Angelenos decided that it’s time to roll up our sleeves and invest in proven solutions to our chronic housing and homelessness crises,” said Raymond, who is also the executive director of the Alliance for Community Transit-Los Angeles. “This measure was drafted and put on the ballot by the community, not politicians or government, and thousands of people joined our campaign to ensure this win.”
Proponents argued that the measure would address the city’s affordable housing crisis. It was endorsed by over 230 organizations, including the Democratic Party of LA County.
“This victory is a victory for the community organizations who rallied to pass this measure,” said April Verrett, co-chair of the Yes on ULA coalition and president of SEIU 2015. “It is a victory for the community members who trusted the experts, not the politicians, to develop the best solutions, for the people power that put these solutions on the ballot themselves, for Angelenos who will reap the benefits of a fairer, kinder city, and for the tens of thousands of people experiencing homelessness and the hundreds of thousands living on its edge.”
However, both candidates for mayor, Rep. Karen Bass and developer Rick Caruso, did not support the measure when asked by the Los Angeles Times in September. The candidates cited concerns over how the city was spending the money already allocated to address homelessness.
“I’m against it,” Caruso told The Wrap in a later interview. “The city has done a terrible job of managing and spending taxpayer dollars. … To say we’re going to create another tax without having accountability of where the money is currently going makes no sense to me.”
Opponents of the measure said in the city’s official voter information pamphlet that the tax would make purchasing apartment buildings in Los Angeles more expensive because it taxes any property that sells for more than $5 million — which they said would increase rent for tenants.
“It’s also a tax on the sale of supermarkets, restaurants and shopping centers,” the opponents wrote. “The cost of living in L.A. is already too high, and Initiative Ordinance ULA will lead to higher prices for consumers.”