Santa Monica Lookout
|One Less Tax Proposal on Santa Monica Ballot||
| By Jonathan Friedman
August 8, 2016 -- Santa Monica voters will be deciding on a large number of local and regional tax proposals this November, but at least one that was supposed to appear on the ballot will not.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently removed a measure that would fund homeless services through a marijuana tax.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, a Santa Monica resident, said that homeless service providers had contacted supervisors “to express ambivalence about looking to marijuana businesses as a source of revenue for homeless services.”
She wrote the motion to withdraw the tax measure, which was approved by the Board July 26.
“Homeless service providers are our front lines in the County effort to end homelessness,” Kuehl said in a statement. “If they are not 100 percent on board with this measure then we owe it to them to reconsider our plan of action.”
Removal of the measure will not affect County money already dedicated to homeless services. Kuehl said the County is spending $100 million this fiscal year.
The November ballot will include four other tax measures.
The Santa Monica City Council has proposed a half-cent sales tax and a non-binding measure calling for the revenue to be split evenly among affordable housing programs and the local school district.
School Board President Laurie Lieberman said the money could be used for ongoing maintenance, technology improvements, instructional assistants, expanding preschool programs and stabilizing the budget ("Santa Monica Ballot Will Include Two Sales Tax Measures," June 30, 2016).
Santa Monica College has asked voters to support a $345 bond to pay for facilities improvements. The debt on the bond would be covered through a property tax costing $8.56 per month for the average Santa Monica homeowner and $1.59 per month for the average renter, SMC officials said.
The bond is expected to fund the rebuilding of the main campus’ art complex and two classroom buildings that were constructed in 1952, among other projects ("$345 Million Santa Monica College Bond Measure Placed on Ballot," July 7, 2016).
Also, the County wants a property tax to fund parks projects and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has proposed a half-cent sales tax to pay for transportation projects.
The transportation measure would, among other things, expand rail and rapid transit systems, repave local streets, retrofit bridges and make public transportation more accessible to seniors.
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