Isla Vista voters are asked to cast ballots by May 9 on Measure O, which proposes a per bedroom tax of $28.75 on Isla Vista landlords in order to fund the park district.
Measure O requires the support of 2/3 of Isla Vista’s 11,000 registered voters to pass and become law.
If passed, Measure O will provide the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District with an additional $256,348 per year for the next ten years. With the funds generated from Measure O, the IVRPD will be able to update existing facilities, improve park lighting, and create recycled water infrastructure. In addition, the money could fund the construction of new amenities such as a fenced dog park or a skate park.
Measure O is not an entirely new tax, but rather a continuation of an already existing per bedroom tax. This previous tax expired during the 2015-2016 school year. A “yes” on Measure O renews this tax for the next ten years.
Proponents of Measure O assert that that tax will have a neutral effect on Isla Vista rental rates since nearly all Isla Vista property owners have a been paying this same fee for the last 25 years.
The only housing residences new to this fee are units build after 1991, including The Loop, ICON, and Campus 880. Though previous The Bottom Line stories have reported that these property owners have been included in the creation of the legislation, staff at both the Loop and ICON were unaware of Measure O when contacted about the story. Neither of these renting agencies were aware of the tax and, as a result, they could not speak to the measure’s implications on the price of next year’s rent. The owners of Campus 880, St. George and Associates, could not be reached for comment.
The proponents of Measure O did not respond to questions about whether housing owners were included in conversations about the bill’s impact.
For more information from supporters of the Measure O, visit www.oyesivparks.org.