Van Nuys, Calif. – Today, the Los Angeles City Council voted to delay placing a proposed tax on vacant properties and parcels on the ballot until the 2022 election. The decision comes after the City released reports two weeks ago on the feasibility of taxing vacant properties.
VICA President Stuart Waldman said:
“There is no way to describe what the Council was thinking with the proposed vacancy tax other than it would have been rushed and short-sighted. The reports were limited and did not fully answer these main questions – how much housing is vacant? And if it is vacant, why? Without clear cut answers this tax would have been nothing more than a shot in the dark. Thankfully, the City Council understood this and will delay discussions on placing the vacancy tax on a ballot until 2022. This gives us ample time to iron out the kinks and create a more feasible policy.
“The cost of housing construction is already high enough as it is due to several fees, taxes and regulations. A vacancy tax would have only made housing more expensive as the proposal did not take into account the process of getting things built. It would have also driven property owners to the ground as they’re already facing huge financial hits due to deferred rents.
“Discussions about a vacancy tax need more time, careful consideration, and lots of thoughtful stakeholder input. Delaying the vacancy tax ballot measure ensures that we will get that. Additionally, this decision means the City is saving 12 million dollars it was projected to cost in order to get the tax on the ballot this year. Hopefully, this means we can redirect our efforts and resources towards policies that streamline housing construction and help struggling property owners during these tough times.”
The mission of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) is to enhance the economic vitality of the greater San Fernando Valley region by advocating for a better business climate and quality of life. Visit www.vica.com for more information.