So in addition to the taxes that every L.A. voter sees on Tuesday’s ballot -- Propositions 30, 38 and 39, and Measure J -- you now also know about the parcel taxes in the Santa Monica Mountains area and the coming countywide parcel tax for storm water cleanup. Sometimes they show up at the ballot box, sometimes in the mail.
But there’s one more for you.
Residents of part of downtown Los Angeles will get mail ballots next week asking them to vote on whether to tax property owners to repay bonds that would be sold to bring streetcars back to town after an absence of more than half a century. The tax would be in place for 30 years.
The interesting thing about this one is that all qualified voters who live in the district will be able to cast ballots, but a majority of them are renters and they wouldn’t be the ones paying the tax. The tax instead would fall on property owners in the district, so this is one time when residency trumps wealth. Depending on your point of view, that could be seen as welcome turnabout or profoundly unjust.
Unlike the Santa Monica Mountains taxes, this one wouldn’t be a parcel tax (where each owner pays the same amount regardless of the size or value of the land). It’s a special tax based on a formula that takes into account how close each property would be to the streetcar and thus, presumably, how much those properties would benefit from that location.