At the August 3, 2020,Culver City City Council meeting, Council member Thomas Small was blunt in his remarks. “What people need to understand is that this is an emergency.”
The public comments and complaints, most of which had to do with why the city should be raising taxes, often did not take into account the extraordinary situation that city finances are looking towards.
The ballot measure to create a real estate transfer tax was a hurried piece of legislation, but it went through all required process and procedures – City Council, Finance Advisory Committee and city staff. Now it will go to the voters in November.
Council member Meghan Sahli-Wells noted that the city had been through similar straights in very recent memory. “When I started on the council, right after the Great Recession, city had cut services and staff down to the bone.” In hope of not having to return to major budget cutting, the tax will be on the ballot.
The exact language of the measure will be ” Shall the measure to maintain essential services, including deferred parks/facilities/street maintenance, addressing homelessness, after-school/senior services, and economic recovery, by increasing the one-time 0.45% tax on real property sales, adding 1.5% on amounts from $1,500,000 to $2,999,999, 3% on amounts from $3,000,000 to $9,999,999, and 4% on amounts $10,000,000 and above, except for sales under $1,500,000, affordable housing, and first transfer of new multi-family properties, and providing $6,000,000 annually until repealed, be adopted?”