With business groups allied against it, L.A. parcel tax faces big hurdle

Three Los Angeles area business associations have signed the official ballot argument opposing L.A. Unified’s sizable 12-year parcel tax on the June 4 ballot — compounding the district’s challenge of getting a two-thirds majority required to pass it. The opponents include the influential Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Parcel tax backers had hoped that business community leaders would take no position, if they couldn’t support a parcel tax. Instead, opponents are promising a vigorous $4 million campaign to defeat Measure EE, said Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, based in the San Fernando Valley.

Waldman, L.A. chamber President and CEO Maria Salinas, and Tracy Hernandez, founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, also signed the ballot statement, along with Jon Coupal, president of the anti-tax Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and former South Gate Mayor Bill DeWitt.

The chamber initially said it would support a standard parcel tax, charging every property owner in the district the same dollar amount. But the organization has followed through with its threat to oppose what the school board adopted: a parcel tax based on the square footage of buildings on a property – an approach that would substantially shift the tax burden from homeowners to commercial properties, large apartment buildings and industrial sites with large buildings.

Using temperate language in her most recent blog post to explain the chamber’s position, Salinas noted the Chamber’s past support for the district’s construction bonds and other initiatives, adding, “We understand the financial picture at LAUSD and the importance of committing resources to provide a quality education for all our students; however, Measure EE is not the answer.” Click here to read more: https://edsource.org/2019/with-business-groups-allied-against-it-l-a-parcel-tax-faces-big-hurdle/610625