So-called ‘mansion tax’
Multiple lawsuits challenging the legality of the city of Los Angeles' Measure ULA, a so-called “mansion tax'' aimed at generating money for affordable housing and other programs to combat
homelessness, were dismissed by a judge who ruled the suits “fail as a matter of law.''
In a 14-page ruling issued Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara M. Scheper dismissed lawsuits filed against the city by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles and Newcastle Courtyards.
The suits contended that the measure violated the state Constitution and the City Charter.
Scheper, however, rejected each of the lawsuits' causes of action and dismissed the cases “with prejudice,'' meaning they cannot be amended and refiled, noting that any attempt to amend the suits “would be futile.''
“Accordingly, the court grants defendants' motions for judgment on the pleadings on the grounds that plaintiffs fail to state facts sufficient to support any claim against any defendant,'' Scheper wrote in her ruling.
Measure ULA passed with 57% support during the Nov. 8 elections.
Measure ULA, known as United to House L.A., imposes an additional tax on the sale of any real property on or after April 1, 2023, within the city of Los Angeles when the consideration or value of the real property exceeds $5 million. The tax is referred to in Measure ULA as the “Homelessness and Housing Solutions Tax.''
The measure taxes sales of homes above $5 million at 4%, and homes above $10 million at 5.5%.
The funds raised by the tax are earmarked for programs to increase affordable housing in the city and prevent homelessness.
The nonprofit legal organization Public Counsel hailed the judge's decision to dismiss the legal challenges, calling it a “resounding legal victory for the power of the people to initiate and enact transformative solutions to address our city's urgent housing and homelessness crises.''