February 26, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Court Rejects Challenges to Controversial Measure In Contentious Lawsuit

Tentative Ruling Gives Hope to Housing Advocates and Residents 

By Dolores Quintana

In a tentative ruling delivered today, the courts have rejected the challenges brought against Measure ULA. A final judgment is anticipated in the coming weeks, pending the judge’s consideration of the final arguments presented by both plaintiffs and defendants. Responding to this development, Joe Donlin, Director of the United to House LA coalition, expressed optimism, stating, “We are encouraged by the court’s discussion today. We are hopeful that the judge’s final decision will uphold the will of the people and confirm the validity of Measure ULA.”

Housing advocates and renters gathered outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse this morning, rallying for “Justice for ULA.” Measure ULA, also known as the “mansion tax,” received the approval of 58% of Los Angeles City voters in November 2022. It allocates funds for rental assistance, income support for seniors, the construction of new affordable housing, and various innovative programs aimed at mitigating homelessness in Los Angeles and safeguarding those at risk of becoming homeless.

Joe Donlin, the director of the United to House L.A. coalition, which played a pivotal role in securing the passage of Measure ULA, emphasized the positive impact of the mansion tax. He noted, “After just six months since the mansion tax went into effect, Measure ULA is already preventing homelessness by providing the first $30 million in rental assistance to seniors and families who have rent debt, keeping them in their homes and preventing them from ending up on our streets. We won’t let real estate billionaires stop this progress forward. And we’re just getting started: In just a few months, construction will begin on new affordable homes built with ULA dollars, ensuring that workers, families, and seniors all across our city have an affordable place to live.”

On December 21, 2022, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the implementation of Measure ULA. A similar challenge brought by a group of property owners was dismissed in federal court last month. Today, the court considered Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings in the remaining litigation concerning Measure ULA.

Leilani Reed, Regional Vice President of SEIU Local 2015, emphasized the union’s commitment to advocating for the housing rights of its members, particularly women of color. Reed stated, “SEIU 2015 fights every day to improve the rights and working conditions of our members, and this includes advocating for their right to safe, affordable housing. ULA is for all Angelenos, especially for everyday working people.”

The Measure ULA “mansion tax” took effect on April 1, 2022, imposing a 4-5.5% levy on the sale of properties valued at $5 million and above within the City of Los Angeles. The revenue is dedicated to renter protections, including safeguards for low-income seniors at risk of homelessness and the development of affordable housing throughout the city. Despite an initial decline in sales of properties exceeding $5 million and reports of strategies employed by the affluent to evade the mansion tax, the Los Angeles City Council authorized $150 million in funding for short-term emergency rental assistance, eviction defense, tenant outreach and education, direct financial aid for low-income seniors and people with disabilities, tenant protections, and affordable housing production through Measure ULA funding.

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