SMDP_BLUEDARK copyCITY HALL — It’s ballot measure madness! Council will review a trifecta of ballot measures on Tuesday.

One, written about previously in the Daily Press, is designed to compete with an aviation community-backed measure and protect council’s control over the Santa Monica Airport. Another would raise the fees paid to the Rent Control Board.  And then there’s the measure designed to fund affordable housing for years to come.

Voters may get a chance to triple City Hall’s take on properties sold for $1 million or more. Currently, City Hall makes $3 for every $1,000 worth of property sold.

Council will consider a ballot measure that would increase that revenue to $9 for every $1,000 on million dollar properties.

The revenues, if agreed upon by the voters, could be set aside to fund affordable housing projects. With the dissolution of the redevelopment agency in 2012 — a move meant to plug a state budget gap —affordable housing took a big hit.

The real estate transfer tax could generate between $4 million and $10.2 million each year (the wide range in the estimate is due to the volatility of the real estate market).

City Hall commissioned a poll of residents and found that a simple majority would support a real estate transfer increase. They also found that a simple majority would support funding for affordable housing. In order to increase taxes and set the cash aside in one measure, it would require support from two-thirds of the voters.

Because they lack a super majority, City Hall is proposing two ballot measures: One that asks for the tax to be raised and another that asks, if the tax is raised, for the cash to be set aside for affordable housing. If council agrees to the measures and both receive majority support from voters, City Hall will have its semi-consistent funding stream for affordable housing.

 

dave@smdp.com

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