Mega-Buildings for Everyone Else but Me

April 6, 2022

Dear Editor,

Tax the rich! Yeah! But where will that ocean of money go? ("Mayor Launches Campaign to Hike 'Luxury' Real Estate Tax," March 31, 2022).

It will pay for huge numbers of giant buildings for non-residents -- many will be built on your street. But you won’t be allowed to live in them because you’re not homeless and you already have a rent controlled apartment.

There will be continual, multi-years-long construction next door to you, as your home disappears into shadow. And none of the buildings will have parking, so street parking will reach Manhattan levels of pain.

(This is happening right now, throughout Santa Monica, due to the previous City Council’s bad choices.)

Oh! But some of the money will go to schools! That’s a bait and switch that the city has used before to pass unpopular measures -- they offer a tiny slice for the schools to get the PTAs on board.

If they truly wanted to fund schools they would float a tax that’s 100 percent for schools, and then a separate tax that’s 100 percent for “mega-buildings-for-everyone-else-but-me. . . with-no-parking.”

Oh, but that wouldn’t pass, would it? So they reserve a pinch of the new tax for schools so it will get voted in. They really don’t care about students, and by cynically tricking parents this way they are showing their true hypocrisy.

(I have seen the signature gatherers shouting: “Vote for money for schools!” Without mentioning the housing element, which is almost all of the money.)

We must defeat this assault on our peace and quiet, parking and sunlight. And we must demand a tax measure that is 100 percent for schools, not a phony rip-off like this.

And please, if you see a signature collection for this ballot measure, then hand out explanations of its awfulness to anyone thinking of signing.

Peter Borresen
Santa Monica

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