Inglewood residents appear divided on tax measures

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By 2UrbanGirls

Contributing Writer

INGLEWOOD — Inglewood voters were divided on two ballot measures that would have increased taxes in the city and Carson voters filled vacancies on the City Council and in the city clerk’s office in special election voting Nov. 2.

In Inglewood, a proposal to raise the transient occupancy tax imposed on motel and hotel guests was easily approved by voters, but a proposal to raise real estate transfer taxes appeared to be going down to defeat.

Measure H sought to increase the city’s transient occupancy tax from 14% to 15.5%. In unofficial return from the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters Office, 62.4% were in favor of the proposal, which is estimated to raise about $730,000 in revenue per year.

to keep public areas safe and clean, retain local businesses and jobs, address traffic issues near sports and entertainment facilities, increase affordable housing, and maintain youth and anti-gang programs, senior services and other city services.

Measure I, which sought to create a tiered tax system on real estate sales, was losing with 51.55% of voters opposed to the proposal. That measure would have increased from 55 cents per $1,000 to $1.75 per $1,000 on real estate transactions.

“If your home sells for lets say $1.2 million,” Mayor James T. Butts said prior to the election, “the tax levy would be $2,200 instead of the $660 we are currently getting.”

Butts said the city needed the additional revenue to maintain public safety, city services and easing traffic through infrastructure enhancements. He could not be reached for comment Nov. 3 on the election results.

Many residents incorrectly thought Measure I would increase their annual property tax payments, which the mayor denied.

Others were unhappy that the additional funds would be used towards the Inglewood Transit Connector as the city’s way of “easing traffic.”

Residents took to social media stating the owners of the Forum, Chargers, Rams and the Clippers should be paying for the people mover since it will be primarily used to ferry people to local entertainment and sporting venues.

Butts blasted that opinion, stating “there is no free lunch” and insisting that the owners have collectively invested billions into the city.

“It’s the responsibility of the municipality to deal with its infrastructure because it goes on the public right of way, and will be in play 365 days a year, to deal with the blessings and riches we have worked ourselves into,” Butts said. “Mature adults handle their responsibility and the council is handling its responsibility.”

In Carson, Economic Development Commissioner Arleen Rojas was elected to the Carson City Council and Myla Rahman, an aide to state Sen. Steve Bradford, was elected city clerk.

Rojas received 34.36% of the vote to replace Lula Davis-Holmes on the council after Carson voters elected Davis-Holmes mayor last November, according to unofficial figures released by the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voter’s office. Rahman received 29% of the vote in the race to replace former City Clerk Donesia Gause-Aldana, who vacated the seat in April.

Freddie Gomez was second in the City Council race with 27.33% of the vote, followed by former City Councilman Mike Mitoma, who received 13.59%. Sharma Henderson was fourth with has 12.55%, and Isaias Pulido was fifth 12.18%.

In the clerk’s race, Monette Gavino, an educator, was in second place with close to 24.96% of the vote, followed by former Councilwoman Vera Robles DeWitt, with 21.91%; labor leader Falea’ana “Ana” Meni, with 12.96%; and Long Beach attorney Jeffry Caballero with 10.96%.

Rahman gathered with her supporters, to watch the election returns at the Doubletree in Carson, and was humbled by the support she’s received.

“Preliminary results look promising,” she said. “However, these are just the early vote by mail ballots, and those who voted at the polls. There are more updates to come and I will have no further comment until the election is certified.”

City Councilman Jawane Hilton was on hand to support Rahman and said he is “happy” about the early numbers.

All results are unofficial pending the counting of mail-in ballots that were postmarked on election day, but have not been received by the Registrar’s Office and provisional ballots.

2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood areas. She can be reached at 2urbangirls@gmail.com.

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