The June Report
June 13, 2019
LAUSD Square Foot Parcel Tax Ballot Measure Overwhelmingly DEFEATED
Measure EE was the June 4 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) ballot initiative that would have added on to your tax burden a 16 cent per square foot parcel tax, based on the square footage of the building improvements on your property. Not only did the proponents not get the required 2/3rds majority vote, they did not even get a majority of the voters to say yes! The vote was:
Yes 45.68% No 54.32%
The incredible nature of this victory is hard to convey. This all came up very quickly after all the emotional outpouring and press coverage of the January LAUSD teachers strike. Then with no notice, the LAUSD at the end of February voted to put EE on the ballot. So, there was no time to discuss the issue with the LAUSD. They sought no input. Mayor Eric Garcetti strongly supported EE and put a lot of his political machine behind it, and even made personal calls, along with the teachers’ union and SEIU and others. The proponents outspent the opposition over 5 to 1. It got very ugly with numerous threats of retribution being made.
But, this time, the business community came together and stayed together under all the tremendous pressure. The LA Area Chamber, the Valley Industry Commerce Association (VICA), BizFed, various realtor associations, and many others were joined by the California Business Roundtable, CBPA, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, CalTax, and many other groups and organizations. A solid campaign was run with radio and TV spots, and while the LA Times backed EE, other newspapers did editorialize against EE. The entire focus of the campaign was there needed to be reforms and results before asking the taxpayer for more money, and there were no guarantees any of the money would see the inside of a classroom. Just throwing more money at the District was not an answer, but only covered up problems. The bottom-line lesson from the EE campaign shows that business, when it sticks together, should not be afraid to take on the so-called power elite. When business comes together and steps out we can achieve critical victories to move our communities and the economy forward to benefit all.
The saddest part of the EE campaign is the absolutely unbelievable, inappropriate reaction of the LAUSD, the unions and Mayor Garcetti to the defeat of EE. The business community had discussed that we wanted to work closely with the LAUSD to make the changes and improvements needed to bring a high-quality education to Los Angeles, as business leaders have been trying to do for years. The LA Area Chamber had even entered into a partnership to bring all kinds of resources to assist the LAUSD. So, what does the LAUSD do, but terminate the partnerships. Additionally, the LAUSD, the unions and Mayor Garcetti wrote a letter saying “The chamber has made clear that it is not a reliable partner.” In other words, they rejected the idea of accepting help from the business community. Not the way to bring people together.
Split Roll Briefings Have Begun – Please Attend
The effort to defeat the split roll measure on the ballot in November, 2020 is underway. Meetings were held in Orange County this week, and will be taking place in Los Angeles in July. The meetings will provide you with the relevant information and resources to do your part to defeat this measure that will have a devastating impact on the commercial real estate industry and the State economy. Attached to this Report is an information sheet on the measure produced by Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes.
While there will be a robust campaign to defeat split roll, none of us can rely on just the campaign. We are all going to have to be active in getting the word out to all of your friends, business associates and anyone you know that split roll must be defeated. The campaign to defeat Split Roll in California will cost a lot of money and every NAIOP member will be asked to contribute. It is an investment in your business! Every member of the NAIOP SoCal Board and Legislative Affairs Committee, as well as others, will be invited to either the Orange County or LA meetings, and we hope you will attend. Your Legislative Affairs staff will maintain up to date information on the NAIOP SoCal website as well as circulating information to the entire membership.
How to contribute to help the effort to defeat Split Roll?
The time is now. This is a huge effort and you are requested to make a contribution in 2019 and to budget for a second contribution in 2020. Attached is a form to contribute directly to the campaign effort, Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes. You may also opt to contribute the newly formed NAIOP SoCal Issues Political Action Committee. A form is also attached to use for the NAIOP SC Issues PAC contribution.
Are there restrictions on who can contribute and how much can be contributed?
There is no limit to what you can contribute to an Issues PAC or a campaign supporting or opposing an issue. However, it is important to know that every contribution is important no matter the amount.
There are some companies that have policies preventing political contributions. These restrictions generally apply only to candidates and candidate PACs. However, contributing to support or oppose an issue is not generally restricted. The legal counsel for the Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes is available to address questions regarding contributions and restrictions.
2019 California Commercial Real Estate Summit – June 11-12 – Sacramento – Verbal Report
We will provide a verbal report of what was learned at the California Commercial Real Estate Summit, which is the one time of the year that industry leaders from all sectors of commercial, industrial, and retail real estate converge on California’s Capitol to meet with policymakers.
- Stop Higher Property Tax – Split Roll Ballot Measure FACTS
- Contribution form to Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes
- Contribution form to NAIOP SoCal Issues Political Action Committee