Thumbs down on "S"

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    The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s $225 Parcel Tax Increase (Proposition S) on the June 3 ballot is an attempt by Santa Monica to have Malibu residents subsidize Santa Monica renters and to unfairly tax residents of Malibu.

    The SMMUSD, which is controlled by candidates from Santa Monicans for Renters Rights, refused to support a parcel tax that was based on the square footage of the improvements on a parcel. This would have spread the burden more equitably by taxing the luxury hotels, large commercial office buildings and commercial buildings, and each apartment in Santa Monica. It also would have been fairer to owners of empty lots in Malibu. To protect tenants in Santa Monica, the SMMUSD rejected a parcel tax based on the improvements on a parcel. This means the big commercial properties pay almost nothing relative to the value of their property and the majority of tenants in Santa Monica in the luxury apartment buildings will pay virtually nothing. The flat regressive parcel tax increase puts the burden unfairly on Malibu homeowners and owners of empty parcels in Malibu.

    I urge my fellow residents of Malibu to send a message to Santa Monica and vote no on Proposition S on June 3.

    Douglas O’Brien