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What to Know About Three LA Ballot Measures in the November 2022 Election

Los Angeles voters were asked to decide three local ballot measures specific to the city of nearly 4 million people in Tuesday’s General Election.

Those three ballot measures included Proposition LH, Proposition SP, and Initiative Ordinance ULA.

Click here to read the full voter information pamphlet with all three ballot measures.

Proposition LH

Proposition LH is about affordable housing. The ballot measure asks voters whether they want to authorize about 5,000 more low-income housing units in each Council District, for a total of 75,000 more low-income housing units in Los Angeles.

More specifically, according to the voter information pamphlet, the proposition asks:

“Do you approve a measure authorizing public entities in the City of Los Angeles to develop,
construct, or acquire up to 5,000 additional units of low-income rental housing in each Council
District, for a total of up to 75,000 additional units of low-income housing within the City, to
address homelessness and affordable housing needs, subject to availability of funding and City
development requirements?”

The current total number of 52,000 low-income housing units in Los Angeles is “inadequate to address homelessness and affordable housing needs,” according to the voter information pamphlet.

There are currently more people experiencing homelessness than there are affordable homes that exist, and many Council Districts are reaching the upper limit of approved housing units.

For more affordable units to be built or aquired by the City, more units need to be authorized, which requires voter approval according to Article 34 of the California constitution.

A “Yes” vote approved extra affordable housing units. A “No” vote denied those units.

Proposition SP

Proposition SP is about property taxes, and how they could help fund parks and recreation in Los Angeles. The ballot measure asks voters if they would like to approve an 8.4 cent-per-square-foot tax on certain parcels of land, with the tax rate reduced after certain programs are completed or a certain amount of time, to raise money for outdoor improvements to the city.

More specifically, the proposition asks:

“Do you approve an ordinance providing funding for parks, recreational centers, pools, playgrounds, waterways, beaches, green spaces, open spaces, childcare and other facilities, and increasing park equity in the City of Los Angeles, through a tax of approximately 8.4 cents per square foot on improved parcels, reduced to approximately 2.2 cents upon completion of certain programs or in 30 years, with citizen oversight and exemptions for low-income households?”

A 1996 ballot measure created a “citywide assessment district” to create, improve and restore parks in Los Angeles. That measure, Proposition K, runs out of money in 2026.

Proposition SP creates that 8.4-cent-per-square-foot property tax, which would raise “approximately $227 million annually” according to the voter information pamphlet. After a capital program is completed, or after 30 years go by, that tax would go down to 2.2 cents per square foot.

The money would go to the “rehabilitation, remediation, improvement, development, addition, acquisition, and operations and maintenance of open spaces and recreational venues and programs,” including things like the LA Zoo.

A “Yes” vote authorized the tax to raise money for parks and recreation. A “No” vote denied the creation of the tax.

Initiative Ordinance ULA

Initiative Ordinance ULA is about multi-million-dollar property taxes, and affordable housing. The ballot measure asks voters if they would like to create a tax on property sales worth $5 million or more, to raise money for affordable housing and tenant assistance programs.

More specifically, the initaitive ordinance asks:

“Shall an ordinance be adopted to add a tax on the sale or transfer of real property valued at over
$5 million to fund affordable housing and tenant assistance programs?”

The city of Los Angeles already collects what’s known as a “documentary transfer tax” on the sale or other deed transfer of property. That tax funds city services. This measure would add another tax, but only to the sale or transfer of properties worth over $5 million.

Certain “housing, non-profit, and public entities” would be exempt from the new tax, which would be 4% for $5 million to $10 million properties, and 5.5% on $10 million-and-higher properties.

The money from the additional tax created by the ordinance would help raise more money for affordable housing and programs to help low-income tenants or unhoused individuals. A citizens oversight committee would be created to help decide how the money is spent.

The goal is to provide another way to help fix the gap between the number of homeless people in the city and the number of affordable housing units to provide them shelter.

A “Yes” vote authorized adding the new tax. A “No” vote denied the creation of the new tax.

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