SANTA MONICA, CA – The sales tax in Santa Monica has been raised by half a percent to 9.75, effective this week.
An affordable housing and school tax was passed by voters in the community in 2016 called Measure GSH. The goal was to raise money for affordable housing, assistance to the homeless, local school improvement, education, as well as other general fund services. When it was placed on the voting ballot, it was estimated to generate $16 million a year just for the city of Santa Monica.
An accompaniment to Measure GSH, called Measure GS, ensures that half of the money raised from the tax increase will go to affordable housing and the other half to schools.
Both measures had support from significant civic group leaders. As redevelopment agencies in California that raised tens of millions for affordable housing and other city improvements were terminated in 2012, these measures were seen as somewhat of an alternative solution.
Santa Monica’s sales tax is slated to go up half a percent again on July 1 as a result of Measure M, another tax increase approved by voters in November. It will then have reached the state mandated cap of 10.25 percent, which Santa Monica was issued a state exemption for as the state law caps local sales tax at two percent above the state’s base rate of 7.25 percent.
The tax will stay in effect until it is repealed by voters.