Oakland City Council puts vacant property tax on November 2018 ballot.
Late Tuesday night, Oakland City Council voted to place the vacant property tax proposal on the November 2018 ballot. The ballot measure, authored by Councilmembers Kaplan, Guillen, and Kalb, would fund solutions to homelessness and illegal dumping, to the tune of $10 million annually.
Oakland has been facing rising rates of homelessness, with the counts in our community increasing dramatically in recent years. This situation is causing widespread suffering, as people are living in difficult situations in underpasses and sidewalks, often without access to water, bathrooms, and more. Click here to view homeless rate data:
In addition, there are thousands of vacant properties throughout Oakland. Both vacant lots, and homes and other buildings that are empty and not in use. Vacant properties add to the blight and abandonment of our neighborhoods, attract illegal dumping, and deprive the community of the opportunity to have those vacant properties be used to house people and provide other productive uses.
Kaplan says: “To help solve these problems, I am thrilled my colleagues passed our proposal to create a parcel tax that applies only to vacant properties, and to use that money to help fund homeless solutions and illegal dumping remediation. The measure also creates a Homeless Commission, to ensure community oversight.
As a result of tonight’s vote, the Oakland voters will have the opportunity to have their voices heard on this important measure, which will help encourage people to put those properties back into use, thus, increasing the housing supply. The revenue from this measure would fund sanitation and services, rapid rehousing, rent support, alternative housing structure solutions, navigation centers, support for illegal dumping removal, and more.”
This is a proposed ballot measure special parcel tax, for the November 2018 ballot. Other cities, such as Washington, D.C., and Vancouver, Canada have adopted vacant property taxes.
Rebecca Kaplan is the Oakland’s 3-Term At-Large Councilmember