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Santa Monica Ballot Could Include Tax Measure for Homeless Services
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
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Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

July 11, 2016 -- A tax to support countywide homeless services could be one of several tax measures on the ballot in November for Santa Monica voters.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to consider one of several options at its meeting on Tuesday.

The options include a tax on medical marijuana (recreational also if approved for legalization by statewide voters in November), a sales tax, or or a parcel tax.

There is also an option for a so-called “millionaires income tax” to fund efforts to curb homelessness, but that would also involve negotiation with the State government.

Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, a Santa Monica resident whose district includes this city, and Mark Ridley-Thomas, proposed lobbying the State.

Homelessness has long been an issue in Santa Monica, and the City government has worked with nonprofit groups to reduce the ranks of those living on streets over the years.

The most recent count placed the local homeless population at 728, which includes people living on the streets, in shelters and in institutions (“Santa Monica’s Homeless Population Declines,” March 2, 2016).

That number was down from 915 individuals counted in 2009 ( "Half of Street Homeless Live Downtown," March 19, 2009).

But countywide, the homeless population is on the rise. There was a 15 percent increase from 2009 to 2015.

The homeless services measure would be the third tax proposal placed on the November ballot for voters in Los Angeles County.

Supervisors voted last week for a tax measure that would charge 1.5 cents per square foot of building area to fund parks projects. Also, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has proposed a half-cent sales tax to pay for transportation projects.

Meanwhile, the City of Santa Monica also has proposed a half-cent sales tax along with a non-binding measure that would ask if voters want the money to support the local school district and affordable housing programs.

In addition, Santa Monica College is asking voters to support a measure for a $345 million bond to pay for facilities improvements ("$345 Million Santa Monica College Bond Measure Placed on Ballot," July 7, 2016).

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