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Los Angeles Self-Storage Operations Avoid Parcel Tax With Voter Rejection of School-District Referendum

Update 6/7/19 – Measure EE was rejected by voters on June 4, saving self-storage and other property owners within the LAUSD boundary from having to pay an additional parcel tax. Of the 277,144 votes cast in the special election, 53 percent were against the proposal. The measure needed 67 percent voter approval to pass, according to Tracy Fernandez, CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation. The business alliance, including the CSSA, fought against the referendum.

“This is not just a win for those in Los Angeles; it is a win for everyone!” wrote Ross Hutchings, executive director of the CSSA, in an e-mail to association members. “School districts throughout the state will view this as an unlikely course of action.”

4/16/19 – A proposed school-tax measure on the Los Angeles June 4 special-election ballot could impact self-storage operators in the city. If passed, Measure EE would impose a $0.16 per square foot parcel tax on all types of property within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). A two-thirds majority vote is required for passage of the levy, which would be in effect for 12 years, according to a source.

The California Self Storage Association (CSSA) and the national Self Storage Association (SSA) are opposing the tax and have asked all self-storage owners to help them fight it. They fear that if the tax passes in California, it could cause other cities and school districts to consider similar charges.

The new parcel tax would be in addition to the existing $0.12 per square foot property tax levied by the district as well as statewide tax increases for schools that were passed by voters in 2012 and 2016. If approved, it’s expected to generate $500 million a year for the LAUSD.

The school board unanimously voted on Feb. 28 to hold the special election ballot following the end of a strike by United Teachers Los Angeles, a labor union that represents 34,000 public school teachers, nurses, librarians and support staff. During negotiations, the district agreed to a 6 percent pay increase for teachers and that it will work to reduce class sizes, a source reported. To fulfill the agreement, the district will face an annual $400 million shortfall, according to “No on Measure EE: Reform LA Unified First - Not New Taxes,” a committee sponsored by taxpayers, homeowners, renters and small businesses, including the CSSA.

The CSSA is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to supporting the self-storage industry in California. The group offers educational events, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy and more.

The SSA represents more than 22,000 U.S. self-storage facilities and approximately 9,100 international facilities, according to its website. It’s affiliated with several state and international self-storage associations and currently has about 6,000 members.

Los Angeles Times, L.A. School Board Asks Property Owners to Show Support With More Tax Money
No on Measure EE: Reform LA Unified First - Not New Taxes, Fact Sheet
SSA Magazine Weekly 4/1/19, Damaging School Tax Measure on the June 4th Ballot in California

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