DECEMBER 6, 2019
ADVOCACY IN ACTION
LA COUNTY APPROVES FIRE PARCEL TAX FOR 2020 BALLOT
On December 3rd the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved the County of Los Angeles Fire Department's (County LAFD) parcel tax initiative. The tax will appear before voters on the March 2020 ballot and is titled the " Los Angeles County Fire District 911 Firefighter/Paramedic Emergency Response Measure " and we are awaiting an assigned letter to identify the initiative. The measure will place a 6¢ parcel tax per square foot of a building and include a 100,000 square foot cap. This parcel tax will affect all residential development, commercial and industrial buildings. Only exemptions for government and non-profit buildings, and qualifying seniors would apply. If passed, the tax will exist in perpetuity and would only be ended by voter approval.
 
The tax is estimated to raise $100,000,000 annually and also allows for a 2% or CPI annual adjustment, whichever is less. This initiative would apply to all those in the unincorporated Los Angeles County and 12 other LA County cities who contract with County LAFD. Because this initiative creates a new tax it would require a 2/3rds vote for approval.
BACKGROUND: In addition to the many unique taxes and fees that are imposed on residential development, an annual County LAFD parcel tax was already passed in 1997. Most recently, there have already been two other County parcel taxes passed impacting development:

  • Measure A in 2016: A 1.5¢ per square foot parcel tax was passed for parks.
  • Measure W in 2018: A 2.5¢ per square foot parcel tax was passed for stormwater.

The County LAFD met with BIA-LAV on September 30th, at that time they did not have any specific information and BIA shared concern over impacts to housing and the timing of the March ballot. BIA-LAV met with County LAFD twice over the last month in stakeholder meetings; they provided us with information linked below.
 
The costs for housing production continues to increase based on regulatory costs and market expenses such as, labor, building materials, and land. This tax would be another hurdle in the building process. For more information contact Director of Government Affairs Diana Coronado.
OTHER DOCUMENTS:
Ballot Language (Slightly amended during board hearing)