A New “No New Tax” Bill Could Help California’s Housing Woes

Senate Bill 961 offers perks for housing in public transportation neighborhoods.

California cities, particularly Los Angeles and San Francisco, grapple with a serious housing crisis. While rents skyrocket, vacancies remain at low levels. The California legislature has struggled to find policies that positively address the issue while appeasing concerns of local communities. However, a new bill circulating in Sacramento already shows some promise … and it’s not limited to just remedying the affordable housing issue.

According to Curbed LA, “Senate Bill 961, drafted by state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), has already cleared two legislative committees without a single no-vote. It would allow a portion of tax revenue from businesses and properties around rail stops and major bus lines to pay for affordable housing, parks, new stations and streetscape improvements.

The measure wouldn’t raise taxes, but would allow cities and counties to use a portion of future tax revenue collected in designated transit zones for specific types of projects.

The bill ensures, for instance, that 40 percent of the money be spent on low-income housing. Of that, half would be set aside for developments geared toward homeless residents.

Read more about the bill and its potential impact on California metros here.