LA voters passed Measure ULA in November 2022 which imposed a new “Homelessness and Housing Solutions” tax on all real estate sales transactions in the city over $5 million. Though it is commonly referred to as the “mansion tax,” it applies to all residential, commercial, and land transactions.
The Initiative was proposed by, among others, labor unions seeking to extract the equity from your properties, comprising 4% of all gross proceeds of sale (with no deduction for indebtedness and regardless of whether money was made) for properties of over $5 million and 5.5% of all gross proceeds of sale for properties of over $10 million. Much of the money raised will be used to provide attorneys to tenants to fight their landlords. The "tax" has already had the effect of stopping LA real estate development in its tracks.
Two lawsuits each entitled Newcastle Courtyards, LLC et al. v. City of Los Angeles et al. challenging the ULA "tax" are the only ones filed in both state and federal court and contain 17 claims. (The only other case, brought by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Assoc. and Apartment Assoc. of Greater LA was brought only in state court asserting a single claim.) The Newcastle lawsuits allege that the "tax" is structured in a patently unfair way and is illegal and unconstitutional.
The Newcastle lawsuits represent the LA real estate community’s best hope to overturn the ULA and to protect property owners from the crushing assessment of 4% or 5.5% of the gross proceeds. We are up against the City, the County, and the Unions (represented by the big LA firm Irell & Manella). Without the support of the LA real estate community, we will not be able to prosecute these critical cases.
We seek to raise at least $3 million from all sources to get us through trial. Through GoFundMe we hope to raise at least $300K of that. All donations will go to the Trust Account of the Law Offices of Keith M. Fromm and be used exclusively to pay the legal costs and expenses of the litigation. We will provide periodic updates on the litigation to all donors.
We greatly appreciate contributions in any amount. For holders of residential property subject to the tax, we suggest a contribution equal to just 1% of the applicable tax (e.g. $5 million property at 4% tax is subject to $200K tax would contribute $2K; $10 million property at 5.5.% tax would contribute $5.5K). We suggest 2.5% for properties listed or soon to be listed for sale, and 5% for properties already sold. For commercial real estate we are seeking contributions at 2X the rate for residential. For those who make fees from the sale of LA properties, e.g., agents and brokers, law firms, title companies, mortgage brokers, banks, and contractors, we suggest a contribution of 5% of the average annual revenue received from transactions over $5 million. And we appreciate contributions from landlords and anyone else concerned about the impact this disastrous "tax" will have on residents and businesses in LA.
NOTE: The contributions may not be tax deductible depending upon your individual circumstances and we can give no assurance nor advice as to whether or not they will be tax deductible to you. You should rely upon your own tax advisors for the answer to such question. Additionally, any such contribution does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the attorneys prosecuting these lawsuits nor any confidential or fiduciary relationship. While litigation is inherently unpredictable and we cannot guarantee any particular result in this litigation.