East Palo Alto voters will consider a ballot measure this November that would place a 2.5 percent tax on rental residential properties in an effort to fund affordable housing development and, if necessary, provide rental assistance to help residents avoid homelessness.
The Measure L tax increase would apply to residential property owners and could not legally be passed on to tenants via increased rent or a surcharge, according to city officials.
Currently, landlords and rental property owners with at least five rental units are taxed at 1.5 percent of their annual gross receipts. Measure L, in addition to raising the tax rate, would remove the exemption for property owners with fewer than five rental units.
The potential tax increase also includes an assortment of exemptions, including for nonprofits that provide affordable housing, rent-controlled units, individually rented rooms and accessory dwelling units
If adopted, the measure would bring in roughly $1.5 million each year, according to the city, and the tax increase would go into effect starting in 2025.
Measure L will require a simple majority to be adopted.