Feb 12, 2024 - News

Mansion tax won’t hit 2024 ballot

Illustration of a real estate for sale sign with the word NOPE on it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

San Diego voters won't weigh in on a "mansion tax" on November's ballot.

Why it matters: The biggest push to generate a new revenue source for low-income housing is dead for this election cycle, after historic flooding last month increased political attention on the city's decrepit stormwater system.

State of play: Trade group The San Diego Housing Federation announced it'll pick up the effort again in 2026.

  • The measure would have charged a 1.75% to 2.25% tax on the sale of real estate above $2.5 million and dedicated the funds to new affordable-housing projects.
  • It was modeled after a similar measure that Los Angeles voters passed in 2022.

What's next: City Council president Sean Elo-Rivera, one of the San Diego measure's earliest and most prominent backers, pledged earlier this month to put a tax dedicated for stormwater infrastructure on the 2024 ballot in the aftermath of our city's catastrophic flooding.

Between the lines: Collective wisdom holds that multiple tax measures on the same ballot cannibalize support from one another, which often pits would-be measures against each other for support to go before voters.

What they're saying: After the recent floods destroyed housing, it became "very clear there is a dire need for updated stormwater infrastructure," said Stephen Russell, president of the San Diego Housing Federation.

What we're watching: Whether Mayor Todd Gloria and council member Raul Campillo commit to pursuing a November sales tax for city operations.

  • They floated the idea last year, but it didn't make it into the mayor's state-of-the-city speech.
  • The head of the city's union for white-collar workers said he and other supporters would poll that measure early this year, as they consider their options.

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