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Ballot Measures Nearly Make Clean Sweep
 

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By Jorge Casuso

November 22, 2022 -- Santa Monica voters approved three new taxes that will bring in nearly $60 million a year and joined Malibu voters to approve a $375 million bond for Santa Monica College.

With an just 15,105 ballots left to count in La County, Mayor Sue Himmelrich's transfer tax hike -- Measure GS -- has won by more than 2,500 votes with 19,435 yes votes (53.51 percent) and 16,886 no votes (46.49 percent).

The $56 per $1,000 transfer tax hike for properties that sell for $8 million or more will generate an estimated $50 million a year to fund affordable housing, homelessness prevention and public schools and has no expiration date.

Meanwhile, Measure DT, Councilmember Phil Brock's far more modest rival transfer tax hike, was trounced with only 12,349 yes votes (34.57 percent) and 23,373 no votes (65.46 percent).

Measure SMC -- the $375 million bond measure to fund improvements at Santa Monica College and help build housing for homeless and low-income students -- has won. After Tuesday's count, it had 23,743 yes votes (57.73 percent) and 17,386 no votes (42.27 percent).

Unlike the other tax measure on the ballot, which required a simple majority, measure SMC needed 55 percent of the votes cast.

Santa Monica's predominantly tenant population flexed it political muscle and easily approved two pocketbook Rent Control measures on the ballot.

Measure RC -- which dropped the general annual rent adjustment that kicked in on September 1 from 6 to 3 percent -- won handily with 20,111 yes votes (58.72 percent) and 14,140 no votes (41.28 percent).

While Measure EM -- which gives the Rent Board authority to disallow or modify general rent increases when the federal, state or local government declares a state of emergency -- won by an equally wide margin with 20,510 yes votes (59.37 percent) and 14,037 no votes (40.63 percent).

Measure CS -- which raises the bed tax on hotels, motels and home shares -- won by a landslide with 27,229 yes voters (73.87 percent) and 9,631 no votes (26.13 percent). The measure will provide an estimated $4.1 million a year to address homelessness and public safety.

Another $3 to $5 million a year will be pumped into the City's coffers after Measure HMP -- which establishes a 10 percent business tax on every licensed cannabis business -- won by a nearly two-one margin with 23,602 yes votes (66.24 percent) and 12,031 no votes (33.76 percent).

While Measure PB -- a narrowly tailored tweak to a longstanding government policy -- won with 20,309 yes votes (60 percent) and 13,537 no votes (40 percent).

The measure expands eligibility requirements for members of the City’s Personnel Board to those who work full-time in the City or have a business license.

The next ballot count update will be on Tuesday, November 22, but there are too few votes left to count to make a difference in the Santa Monica races.


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