L.A. County’s tax to help Homeless People is Currently too high for some Cities
According to state officials, Los Angeles County’s Measure H quarter-cent sales tax, which is meant to help homeless people, has been pushed back to October because several cities in Los Angeles County have reached their sales tax caps. Measure H was approved by over 60 percent of voters this past March to deal with the increasing number of homeless people within the county. Beginning July 1, Los Angeles County residence will already be hit with a tax increase from Measure M; a voter approved half-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects that was passed in November. Mark J. DeSio, the deputy director of external affairs for the California Board of Equalization, stated:
[Language in a trailer bill] will allow for those cities that are currently at the cap to not be required to collect/impose the Measure H tax. However, once a district tax expires in a city currently at the cap, thus putting the city below the cap, the Measure H tax will immediately be imposed.
According to figures released by the state, Measure M will increase tax rates for county residents in unincorporated areas to 9.5 percent. Meanwhile, some cities such as Culver City and San Fernando will see their sales tax rise to 9.75 percent. Places such as Compton and Long Beach will see the sales tax increase to 10.25 percent.
Due to this delay, Measure H is projected to only generate about $266 million for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, instead of the previously projected $355 million to help the homeless. Luckily, the recommended spending level for programs and initiatives for the first year is only $259 million to help the homeless.
This revelation that several cities in Los Angeles County have reached their sales tax caps is troubling because residents in California are already tax a lot and delayed revenue generation is going to impact projects negatively and could eventually lead to greater issues in the future.