Yes on Empty Home Tax

Yes on Empty Home Tax

The Empty Home Tax  community-driven ballot initiative is a response to the countless stories of housing struggle within our community. Your friends who moved away so they could buy a home. The children who can’t afford to live down the block from their parents. The elders who cannot remain housed on a fixed income. We see you hustling the double shifts, the side gig and experiencing the constant worry.

We live in the most expensive small city in the world. But you didn’t need to hear that. You live it day in and day out.

The Empty Home ...

The Empty Home Tax  community-driven ballot initiative is a response to the countless stories of housing struggle within our community. Your friends who moved away so they could buy a home. The children who can’t afford to live down the block from their parents. The elders who cannot remain housed on a fixed income. We see you hustling the double shifts, the side gig and experiencing the constant worry.

We live in the most expensive small city in the world. But you didn’t need to hear that. You live it day in and day out.

The Empty Home Tax will create a pathway for the wealthy that purchase second homes, vacation rentals and investment properties to support the community they are joining. This sustained local funding source will be dedicated to creating the affordable housing our community so desperately needs. We are often told that the affordable housing we need cannot be created because we do not have stable funding for it. The revenue generated by the Empty Home Tax will play a huge part in removing that barrier to create more affordable housing.

The community has put forward this initiative because the struggle for stable affordable housing has touched us all. It doesn’t have to be this way. It is clear that if we want this kind of change that can improve our daily lives, we have to be willing to fight for it. Let's fight together to ensure Santa Cruz remains for all of us.

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image of Yes on Empty Home Tax

June 28th Santa Cruz City Council Support Empty Home Tax Action

The community-driven Empty Home Tax turned in over 6000 signatures from residents that want to create an annual funding source to create affordable housing. The Council must call for an election at their June 28th meeting and we need them to STRONGLY and PUBLICLY support the Empty Home Tax going into the November vote. Scroll down to SEND AN EMAIL to all council members with one click to adopt EHT ...

The community-driven Empty Home Tax turned in over 6000 signatures from residents that want to create an annual funding source to create affordable housing. The Council must call for an election at their June 28th meeting and we need them to STRONGLY and PUBLICLY support the Empty Home Tax going into the November vote. Scroll down to SEND AN EMAIL to all council members with one click to adopt EHT now. Please MODIFY the email with personal touches if you can (Hit "Email Tips" for suggestions) or just send as is. 

We need to turn up at the meeting and let the City Council know that they can and should adopt the Empty Home Tax now. We don't need to wait for the November election. Every second we delay puts creating more affordable housing further out in the future.

At the May 10th meeting the City Council ordered a fiscal impact report that will be presented June 28th. We want to be hopeful that the report will be fair and balanced but recent history of similar efforts tells us the report may be skewed to support the false claims of our opponents. 

Regardless of the content of the report, we know vacancy taxes work and that is a fact. We want our neighbors to be at home and we want teachers, childcare, healthcare and service workers to be able to live where they work. This is about community and keeping Santa Cruz accessible for all of us! Let's send emails and show up to the meeting to give testimony. 

JOIN THE MEETING ON JUNE 28th (Instructions below, we will update you on the agenda time for the Empty Home Tax when it becomes available)

The meeting may be viewed remotely, using any of the following sources:

 Click on Zoom link (no time delay): https://zoom.us/j/94684401344

 Or: Call any of the numbers below. If one is busy, try the next one.

 1-833-548-0276 (Toll Free)

  • 1-833-548-0282 (Toll Free)
  • 1-877-853-5247 (Toll Free)
  • 1-669-900-9128

 Enter the meeting ID number: 946 8440 1344

 When prompted for a Participant ID, press #.

  • Press *9 on your phone to “raise your hand” or select “Raise Hand,” in the webinar controls on your device when the Mayor calls for public comment.
  • It will be your turn to speak when the Mayor calls on you. Press *6 to unmute yourself. The timer will then be set to 3 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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Compose your email

Email Tips +

We need the emails to be slightly different so PLEASE MODIFY the template above with suggestions below, you are also encouraged to just delete the template text and write an email from scratch if you would prefer.

ADD in 3-4 sentences about empty homes in your neighborhood or how your friends family or colleagues have moved away because they can't afford to live in Santa Cruz

ADD anything you want to share about the struggles of making the wage you are getting paid  pay for housing in Santa Cruz

DO NOT make personal attacks on Councilmembers.  Tell them they have the power to make positive change for a HUGE number of people in Santa Cruz if they are bold and act now. Also mention, if you would like, that you are a active voter and will be watching to see if their actions matches their rhetoric on affordable housing when you cast your vote in November.

EMPHASIZE this is about community not renter vs property owners. We have many property owners supporting this measure as a way for them to step up and do their part to keep Santa Cruz accessible. The burden on property owners is extremely low.  They fill out a declaration online annually and for the average property owner it will take 5 mins.  ADUs aren't taxed.  There just needs to be someone on a property for 120 non-consecutive days a year and owner doesn't pay the tax. This is fair and reasonable and getting broad support across the community. 

Resource links

California Department of Finance