Editor’s Note: This is an open letter from the Board of Northeast Neighbors regarding its opposition to Santa Monica Ballot Measures H and HH.
Given the strong opposition voiced by our members, the Board of Northeast Neighbors has voted to oppose ballot measures H and HH.
While our members consider maintaining the affordability of housing in Santa Monica to be an important policy objective of our city, in our view the combined ballot measures H & HH are not the right approach to achieve this goal.
Advocates of H and HH state that the increased fee would affect only “the very affluent.”
In fact, H and HH combined would impact long-term members of our community of modest and low income whose homes may be their only asset to provide security in retirement. Increased transfer tax fees would also make new homeownership less achievable. Families whose mortgages are “under water” and seniors who may need to sell their homes for long term care would experience this increased fee as a heavy burden.
Santa Monica already has one of the highest transfer tax rates in the state. Additionally, measures H and HH have no sunset clause, which means the increased fee would go on forever.
To increase the cost of housing in the name of increasing the affordability of housing makes no sense.
Board of Northeast Neighbors