The nomination season for several local elections has been extended into this week after at least one incumbent declined to run in the City Council, School Board and College Board races.  

The first nomination deadline for local offices was Aug. 12 and for some races it will now be Aug. 17. However, Councilwomen Sue Himmelrich and Kristin McCowan previously said they would not run for reelection and they held to that statement. Incumbent Louise Jaffe did not pull papers to run for College Board and School Board incumbent Craig Foster said he will not run again. 

There will be at least one individual in the Council and Rent Control races with an “incumbent” title — but in both cases, the November election will be their first actual campaign. Councilwoman Lana Negrete was appointed to Council in 2021 and Ericka Lesley was appointed to the Rent Control board in July of this year. 

Potential candidates for any of the local races must be 18 years or older and registered voters in the jurisdiction of the agency they are running for. They must pick up a nomination packet from the City Clerk and return it with a least 100 valid signatures from registered voters. 

Once the extended nomination period closes, the Secretary of State will hold its public drawing on Aug. 18 to determine the order of names on the ballot. Individuals who miss any of the current deadlines can still run as write-in candidates if they fill out the same paperwork between Sept. 12 and Oct. 25. While write-in candidates must still gather signatures and fill out financial forms, they do not actually appear on the ballot. 

In addition to candidates for local office, the November election will feature several measures raising taxes and altering the city charter. 

Tax measures will include increasing taxes on tourists, property sales and cannabis sales. 

The first measure increases the Transit Occupancy Tax by 1% for hotels and 3% for home-shares. Those fees are paid entirely by overnight visitors and, if approved, would raise an estimated $4.1 million annually. While a host of services are listed as potential beneficiaries of the money, the funds would go straight into the city’s general fund and can be spent on anything. 

Two dueling measures would increase taxes on property sales. Both measures target a new third tier of Transfer Tax on sales of over $8 million but by different amounts. The first would charge $56 per $1,000 of value in perpetuity and the money would be mandated to go towards homelessness prevention, affordable housing and schools. 

The second charges an incremental tax of $25 per $1,000 of the value in excess of $8 million with some exceptions through 2033 with a potential five-year extension. The second measure includes an advisory list of potential beneficiaries for the money but the funds would go straight into the city’s general fund and can be spent on anything.

The final tax measure establishes a 10% tax on gross receipts of cannabis or hemp-derived psychoactive products sold in the city. 

Aside from the tax measures, voters will have a chance to decide whether rent-controlled renters get a break on rent increases this year. 

Council approved a ballot measure that would cut maximum rent increases in half (from 6% today to 3%), increase the length of time owners must live in a unit if they evict a tenant from it and give officials the power to suspend rent increases in an emergency. 

The final measure amends the city charter to expand eligibility requirements for service on the City’s Personnel Board to include residents of Los Angeles County that are employed full-time within the City, own real property in the City or have been issued a business license by the City. The measure would also reduce the term of service for Personnel Board members from five to four years.

In addition, Santa Monica College announced it would place a $375 million bond measure on the November ballot, levying 2.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation. That measure must secure at least 55% plus one vote across Santa Monica and Malibu in order to pass.

editor@smdp.com