Editor:

While not the reason for my letter, I am 100 percent opposed to any more affordable housing and any further housing of any type (“City Hall considers tax hike for low-income housing,” Feb. 21). I do not want to grow our city population any more. If anything, we need more single-family residences so our existing residents can remain in the city as their families grow.

The main reason I am writing is that I’m distressed by the proposed transfer tax and, while perhaps not illegal, it’s certainly against the spirit of the law and dishonest. I am shocked the city is contemplating sinking so low. My understanding is that, by law, two-thirds voter approval is required for property related taxes for a specific expenditure.

However, the city somehow thinks it is OK to classify this as a general tax and therefore circumvent the rule and only would need 51 percent approval. How in the world can you honestly not say it is for a specific tax as that is how it is being sold to taxpayers?

There is a reason for the two-thirds vote and that is because it directly impacts people’s finances. It is especially important in places like Santa Monica, where renters far outnumber homeowners. It provides protection to the minority. I really do not understand why anyone except property owners should be allowed to vote on something which they have to pay for.

As I said, I and everyone I know is opposed to any more affordable housing in our city. The money for it still exists, but now the state, and not the city, control it. I do not see how the City Council, in its good conscience, could even propose this initiative given it is potentially illegal and is trying to circumvent the law. If for some unfortunate reason it does go forward, then I can assure you that many of us in the community will make sure it ends up defeated in court.

 

Jaime Gomez

Santa Monica

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