The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles filed a joint lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles seeking to overturn recently passed Measure ULA, which is the city’s new transfer tax on real estate assessed on transactions over $5 million. The groups claim that The California Constitution (Proposition 13) prohibits real estate transfer taxes for special purposes, and therefore cannot be lawfully enforced. The full complaint to invalidate the measure can be viewed here.
As of April 1st of this year, the city will be collecting this 4-5.5% tax on the sale of all residential and commercial properties that trade for $5 million or more, resulting in the fees starting at $200,000 and going up from there. The money is intended to raise approximately $600 million to $1.1 billion annually for the “House LA Fund”, which builds and provides affordable housing throughout the city.
With the city facing a legal challenge to this new transfer tax, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is asking for all collected funds to placed into an escrow account that cannot be allocated for use until the lawsuit is settled. If they are successful in their challenge, tax payers could possibly be eligible for a full refund if they file a claim within one year of the date the tax is paid. You can click here to access more information about how to file a claim and download the form with instructions.
We do not know when or if the lawsuit will be settled, but if you file a claim within the above mentioned timeframe, you might be able to recapture the money you will be required to pay in transfer taxes under this new measure.