Last Updated: March 7, 2024By Tags: ,

In April 2023, the City of Los Angeles enacted the United to House Los Angeles (ULA) Measure, popularly known as the “mansion tax.” This Measure established a 4% to 5.5% documentary transfer tax on property sales exceeding $5 million. While the original intent was to address affordable housing and homelessness, its impact is causing more problems than it solves.  

Measure ULA was supposed to generate $900 million, yet it’s only brought in $150 million in new taxes. The damage to the housing and real estate market has people demanding change. 

This tax measure wasn’t just a tax on luxury homes; it also affected a range of properties, such as apartment buildings, commercial real estate, hotels, and strip malls. It made building new apartments and other housing more expensive and drove developers to neighboring cities. 

In a sign of hope and relief from ULA, Rob Lapsley with the California Business Roundtable recently wrote an article stating, “Fortunately, relief is in sight. As the November election approaches, the Taxpayer Protection Act, a statewide ballot referendum, offers a chance to fix what Measure ULA has broken. If passed by Californians, the Taxpayer Protection Act would require that Measure ULA go back to the ballot for another vote – this time with Angelenos understanding the real-world impacts.”

In his article, Lapsley highlights that local economists at UCLA predicted that Measure ULA would negatively impact multi-family housing construction and cause rents to increase. The worst part is that we are just seeing the first impacts of ULA.

Lapsley ends his article with: 

“The Taxpayer Protection Act is not just about undoing ULA. It’s about a transparent and accountable long-term check and balance that empowers the voters of California with the right to decide which new taxes they are willing to pay at the state and local level in the future. 

“But state and local politicians do not want you to have that right, just like they are unwilling to fix Measure ULA. L.A. needs and deserves more thoughtful leadership and more creative solutions on these issues. In California, the cost of living is just too damn high. Passing the Taxpayer Protection Act this November will help to get L.A. on that path.”