I strongly recommend that our citizens vote no on Measure B and yes on Measure RE.
Measure B would repeal the City’s renter protections and raise the rent on tenants at a time when they can least afford it. If passed, Measure B would strip away existing local rent control as well as our local elected leaders’ ability to pass rent control in the future. The only way to obtain local rent stabilization would be through yet another ballot measure in a future election.
We should not tie the hands of our city council members, who were elected to act in the interests of all Culver City residents.
Then there’s Measure RE. Voters should vote in favor of Measure RE. It is a graduated, progressive real estate transfer tax that is payable only when there is a real estate transaction. The real estate transfer tax applies only to homes that sell for $1.5 million and above.
Since the tax tiers set forth marginal rates, like income tax, Measure RE does not change the tax rate on sale proceeds of less than $1.5 million. For example, if a property sells for $2 million, only $500,000 is subject to the new rate.
Sales of less than $1.5 million are about 70% of all real estate transactions in Culver City, according to the city’s tax consultant. These are completely unaffected by Measure RE. And deed-restricted affordable housing is completely exempt.
I recommended these positions to Culver City Community Coalition, which voted unanimously to oppose Measure B, and support Measure RE.
Voters should look to the bigger picture.
Measure B—What are the statewide-statutory-renter protections? What are the protections added by the City Council’s current protections? What are the costs incurred to secure those added protections? If there are added costs, could those funds be better used to target renters’ problems?
Measure RE—Why does Culver City need to raise funds through another tax on residents or those who do business in Culver City? What is Culver City doing, if anything, to combat fraud, waste, and abuse?
Les Greenberg, Esquire