Measure ULA: New Transfer Tax on Los Angeles Residential and Commercial Real Property Sales Over $5 Million

November 14, 2022

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Evaluate ULA, generally recognized as the “mansion tax,” would impose a new “Homelessness and Housing Answers Tax” on transfers of household and business authentic assets in the metropolis of Los Angeles valued in excessive of $5 million.[1]  The profits raised by the new tax, predicted to be between $600 million and $1.1 billion annually, is supposed to be employed to fund inexpensive housing and tenant aid courses.  As of the date of this Consumer Warn, the measure is forward in the most up-to-date vote count.

Beneath the measure, product sales of residential and business authentic house valued at about $5 million but significantly less than $10 million would be topic to an added tax at the price of 4{c024931d10daf6b71b41321fa9ba9cd89123fb34a4039ac9f079a256e3c1e6e8}, though income of properties valued at $10 million or additional would be subject to an further tax at the fee of 5.5{c024931d10daf6b71b41321fa9ba9cd89123fb34a4039ac9f079a256e3c1e6e8}.  The new tax would apply to the entirety of the sale benefit, not entirely the sum in excess of the $5 million and $10 million thresholds, and no matter of whether the assets is marketed at a attain or a reduction.  The thresholds would be adjusted each individual 12 months based mostly on inflation.  The tax would use to house profits developing on or soon after April 1, 2023.

The new tax would be in addition to the existing documentary transfer tax imposed on property gross sales in the town of Los Angeles, which is imposed at a put together town and county fee of .56{c024931d10daf6b71b41321fa9ba9cd89123fb34a4039ac9f079a256e3c1e6e8}.

The tax differs in some respects from the present documentary transfer tax imposed by the city and county of Los Angeles.  For example, although the current documentary transfer tax is calculated by excluding the worth of any liens or encumbrances remaining on the residence at the time of the sale, the new tax seems to follow the design of other metropolitan areas, these kinds of as San Francisco, and is imposed on the gross worth of the assets, i.e., by which includes the worth of liens or encumbrances remaining on the assets at the time of the sale.  In addition, there are certain exemptions from the tax that are not relevant to the existing documentary transfer tax, which includes exemptions for transfers to specific non-gain entities and to specific community land trusts and constrained-equity housing cooperatives that, subject matter to sure exceptions, display a background of very affordable housing progress and/or economical housing house management experience.

Equivalent to the present documentary transfer, even so, given the language utilized in Measure ULA, it appears most likely that Los Angeles would interpret the tax as applying to a transfer of interests in a lawful entity that final results in a transform in ownership of actual assets held by the authorized entity for residence tax uses.  See our [prior Client Alert[2]] for a far more in-depth dialogue of this subject.[3]   In addition, it appears that the tax would be issue to the exact same normal exceptions established forth in the Los Angeles town ordinance that apply to the exiting city of Los Angeles documentary transfer tax (e.g., mere improvements in identity, type, or spot of business).  Relatively less very clear is no matter if the exceptions established forth in the California state transfer tax statute would implement to the new tax (e.g., foreclosures and deeds in lieu of foreclosures).  In addition, it continues to be to be observed how sure features of the regulation will be interpreted, which includes the software of the $5 million and $10 million thresholds to transfers that include different pursuits in true residence (e.g., land and advancements, business condos).

If enacted, the Homelessness and Housing Methods Tax would depict a important improve in the transfer taxes applicable to residential and professional property product sales in the metropolis of Los Angeles valued in excessive of $5 million and, as these types of, is predicted to have a sizeable influence on income of residential and industrial property in the town of Los Angeles likely forward.

Make sure you get hold of any Gibson Dunn tax lawyer for updates on this challenge.

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[1] https://clkrep.lacity.org/election/Initiative_Ordinance_ULA.pdf

[2] https://www.gibsondunn.com/california-supreme-court docket-upholds-los-angeles-countys-interpretation-of-documentary-transfer-tax-act/

[3] Notably, Evaluate ULA authorizes the Director of Finance to difficulty guidelines and rules additional defining the term “realty bought,” which triggers equally the existing documentary transfer tax and the new tax, and which other cities have used to clarify that the home tax change in possession principles apply to the documentary transfer tax.  See, e.g., Area 1114(b) of Short article 12-C, San Francisco’s Real Home Transfer Tax Ordinance (“Notwithstanding subsection (a), “realty sold” consists of any acquisition of transfer of ownership passions in a lawful entity that would be a improve of ownership of real assets less than California Earnings and Tax Code Part 64.”).


This inform was organized by Lorna Wilson.

Gibson Dunn’s lawyers are available to assist in addressing any inquiries you may well have with regards to these and other tax-connected developments. If you have any questions, be sure to speak to the Gibson Dunn lawyer with whom you commonly do the job, any member of the Tax or Real Estate apply groups, or any of the following:

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George Liang – Los Angeles (+1 213-229-7230, [email protected])

*David W. Horton is an affiliate doing the job in the firm’s Los Angeles workplace who is admitted only in New York.

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