Tax Proposed on Sale of Property Over $ 5 Million to Finance the City’s Homeless Homes – BoilingNews

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A coalition of unions and other organizations on Thursday announced a multi-million dollar property sales tax initiative to fund homelessness solutions, including permanent housing.

The coalition will start collecting signatures in January and hopes to get around 65,000 signatures by April to qualify for the November 2022 parliamentary elections.

If approved by a majority of voters, the measure would create a 4% tax on properties sold for more than $ 5 million and a 5.5% tax on properties sold for more than $ 10 million.

“Homelessness and the housing crisis are at the forefront of Angelenos, but we have not seen our local government take the immediate and courageous action needed,” said Laura Raymond of the Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles. “LA’s nonprofit neighborhood organizations and community members have teamed up, with the assistance of local political experts – not politicians – to create a referendum initiative that will address homelessness by keeping people in their homes and dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing for Angelenos. “

Raymond said the revenue from the tax would be invested in affordable and permanent housing, as well as overseeing how the tax dollars are spent, including through a dedicated inspector general. She claimed it would provide “the strongest citizens oversight and accountability protection in the history of Los Angeles.”

The group said the tax would have generated about $ 800 million between March 2019 and March 2020, by taxing only 3% of property sales that year.

The coalition predicts the measure will create more than 26,000 homes for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, which will help about 69,000 people over the next 10 years.

The group also said the investment in homelessness prevention could help more than 475,000 vulnerable tenants stay in their homes each year.

The coalition of 29 organizations includes leaders from the Alliance for Community Transit-LA, the Korean Immigrant Workers Alliance, the Los Angeles Community Action Network, the Los Angeles / Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council, Move LA, the NoHo Home Alliance, Renters’ Right to Counsel and Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing.

“We have a lack of crisis levels of affordable and supportive housing in Los Angeles. Without addressing the root causes of homelessness, we are doomed to remain frozen in the current status quo,” said Alexandra Suh, CEO of Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance. “Rising house prices continue to exceed workers’ wages and inflation, and residents everywhere are struggling to balance housing costs with other economic necessities.”

In November 2016, voters passed Proposition HHH to spend $ 1.2 billion to build 10,000 units for homeless Angelenos, with the goal of more than tripling Los Angeles’ annual production of supportive housing.

The high cost of Proposition HHH-funded projects has been criticized by some. A September 2020 report by controller Ron Galperin said the median price for Proposition HHH projects is $ 531,000. When the proposal was passed by voters, the city predicted that each unit of supportive housing would cost between $ 350,000 and $ 414,000.

More than 1,000 planned units cost more than $ 600,000, and a project was more than $ 700,000 per. unit, Galperin reported.

While the coalition’s proposal would build on Proposition HHH by prioritizing permanent housing, Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino has proposed a voting measure that would require the city to prioritize the production of temporary shelters over permanent housing. This measure would also ban camps all over the city if there is enough shelter available and offered.

“Safer Streets LA”, a Campaign to Adopt Buscaino’s Proposed Ballot Measure, released a poll by ALG Research, which found that 64% of 600 likely 2022 Los Angeles primary voters would support a ballot measure to ban camps in public areas, expand the use of temporary housing and provide the opportunity for accelerated development of affordable housing for uninhabited residents.

The 64% ranged from “strongly yes” to “lean yes”, and a total of 28% ranged from “strongly no” to “power no.” The remaining 8% were unresolved. The poll was conducted from 9-14. November by phone and text-to-web.

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