“Put it to the voters” is one of the strongest democratic moves in the playbook, and the Culver City Council has chose to do that with two very different measures; giving 16 year-olds the right to vote in municipal elections, and the option to raise the taxes on licenses for local businesses, will both be on the November ballot.
The push for lowering the voting age to 16 in local elections has been a national campaign called “Vote16USA” which kicked off in 2015. Local support for the idea has been presented at both city council and school board meetings over the past several years, and many community members have spoken in support of the idea. Putting the measure on the November ballot was formalized at the June 6, 2022 City Council meeting.
The measure to change the Culver City Business License Tax was approved at the June 13, 2022 meeting after coming to a stalemate on a previous agenda. The tax, which has not been updated since 1965, had been picked up and put down on several occasions over the last four years. The General Plan Update, which commenced in 2019, had recommendations on updating the tax, but those ideas were then deferred with the onset of the pandemic.
The report from city staff offered that that Culver City Business License Tax is currently lower equivalent taxes in Los Angeles, Santa Monica or Beverly Hills. A majority of residents polled said that they would vote for an increase if there were an exemption for businesses whose receipts were less than $100,000.
The consideration of another ballot measure, a parcel tax to support affordable/workforce housing, did not advance.
While there will be state and county contests on the ballot this fall, there will also be local city council, school board, and – so far – these two ballot measures.