Editor:

Santa Monica ballot measure GS is expected to crush funding for Santa Monica schools and police.

GS has a loophole to let big business avoid its tax. And won’t adjust for inflation, so eventually even modest condo owners will be hit. So much for taxing the rich.

GS will be used to build thousands of apartments that are claimed to be affordable – but they will be exempt from rent control. 

Very few Santa Monica rent controlled tenants will be eligible for these apartments anyway, which will be mostly given to those from outside the city. They will tower over nearby buildings, and will have no parking – leading to parking wars between neighbors. (Residents of the no-parking buildings will all have cars – they just won’t have anywhere to park them.)

How, you ask, will GS reduce school and police funding when measure GS is supposed to give money to schools?

Firstly, the GS buildings will not pay property taxes for the services their residents will use. And these new buildings will replace existing property tax paying buildings

Furthermore,  GS is a transfer tax, not a capital gains tax. It will impose a minimum $448,000 fee on properties that are sold even for the same price they were bought for. This will cause properties to be held for much longer.

This delaying of sales will slow property-tax uplifts and reduces sales and business taxes from realtors and remodelers. Transfer taxes are paid occasionally – real estate taxes are paid every year.

Combined, the loss of property tax paying buildings, the increase in new residents whose buildings don’t pay taxes for their schools and police, and the delayed uplift in regular property taxes from delayed property sales will have a severe impact on regular city tax revenues, lowering monies for police and schools.

GS sponsors are using the promise of school money to trick voters – in reality it will do the exact opposite of what is advertised. 

In effect, measure GS will take millions from the city general revenue stream, and lock it up in a fund for special interests and pet projects to be doled out by an unelected board of insiders.

Santa Monica is being hoodwinked by a bunch of smart politicians who only care about one thing – their monstrous legacy of towering apartment blocks with no parking, impoverished schools and underfunded police.

Vote no on GS.

Vote yes on DT/DTS. A better transfer tax that will benefit all residents by providing additional funding for all city services, including schools, police, libraries etc. And it dedicates funds for housing done properly – under city council control. Not under the control of an unelected board of appointees with their own agendas.

Peter Borresen, Santa Monica