Last week, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met to discuss a number of policy items before the City and State’s legislative bodies. Specifically, the Chamber heard from proponents and opponents of Measure EE which will be on the ballot for Los Angeles residents this June.
At the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, we value education and support a number of schools and non-profit programs focused on providing equal and ample opportunity to the youth in Hollywood and the City of Los Angeles. Moreover, the current financial troubles faced by LAUSD are of great concern to us, as an organization committed to strengthening our community at all levels. However, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce must take a position of opposition on Measure EE.
Measure EE, if approved by a two-thirds majority of voters, proposes a parcel tax on property owners to raise roughly 6 billion dollars over the course of twelve years (estimated 500 million a year) to even the spending and revenue gap currently faced by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Estimations predict the tax to come out around 16 cents per square foot of habitable indoor space. We believe this measure will place an unfair burden on renters and property owners as we also face an affordable housing crisis within Los Angeles. Further, Measure EE, as it stands, offers no insurance that the money raised will be used to directly benefit students and teachers in the classroom. Currently, Measure EE is written so that LAUSD is required to complete only one individual audit annually. Residents and taxpayers deserve greater accountability from the district to ensure their money will be used to benefit the youth of Los Angeles.
Though the Hollywood Chamber must oppose Measure EE this June, we recognize LAUSD’s urgent need for resources and sustainable revenue streams and offer the following opportunity to increase revenue:
Los Angeles, and Hollywood specifically, is home to thousands of filmmakers and creatives in all mediums. In 2018, FilmLA reported 38,795 total shoot days across various productions, a 1.3 percent increase in productions being filmed in the city. Yet, permitting to film on LAUSD property has historically been denied or frowned upon. As the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, we would be remiss not to point out a clear source of revenue for the district by opening up properties to film crews on nights, weekends, and break periods to generate new income without raising taxes on residents and business owners.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is committed to the future of our community and we recognize that begins with youth and education. We hope that by offering potential solutions, we, and other business and community leaders, can partner with LAUSD in the future on sustainable solutions to benefit the youth of Los Angeles and provide the world-class education our children deserve.