The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors was poised Tuesday to impose a massive new housing fee on new home production to support countywide arts programming.
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce testified against the new fee, citing the historic housing crisis facing LA County and supported LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s proposed fee exemption on new affordable and homeless housing. The Chamber also pushed for additional exemptions for senior and veteran housing.
“We are in the middle of a housing crisis which has put homeownership out of reach of working-class families,” said Nancy Starczyk, chair of the board for the SCV Chamber of Commerce. “We support the arts, but adding massive new fees onto the cost of new homes is the wrong solution to solving the housing crisis.”
Below are comments presented to the Board of Supervisors on behalf of the SCV Chamber:
“We believe expanding access to the arts is just as important as how we fund it. The solution today to the housing crisis should not be in adding another substantial fee to housing, putting housing further out of reach of working-class families.
“We support the motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn and have two additional suggestions. First, we’d ask that veteran and senior housing to be exempt as well as affordable housing. Second, we’d also suggest any fees be paid at the time of building occupancy not when a building permit is pulled. This makes a big difference for builders.
“There is no doubt we need to better fund the arts and make them more accessible to everyone. But let’s not make working-class families foot the bill for it. The Arts should lift us up, not hold us back.”
Supervisor Kathryn Barger co-authored a motion with Supervisor Janice Hahn to delay the implementation of the fee and report back to the Board of Supervisors with fiscal impact analysis and to exempt affordable housing and to ensure homeless and transitional housing was also exempt.
Veteran housing is also now being considered for an exemption.
About the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is the largest business membership organization in the Santa Clarita Valley representing more than 65,000 member employees. The Chamber serves as “The Voice of Business” working as the SCV’s leading business advocacy organization in the third-largest city in the County of Los Angeles. Founded in 1923, the Chamber works to advocate for, educate and connect the business community.