Members of the Hollywood elite are among those who have contrived to avoid the new “mansion tax” passed last year by Los Angeles voters — including some of the biggest names in Democratic Party fundraising circles.
Measure ULA went into effect on April 1, and ostensibly exists to raise money for low-income housing. But many of the rich and famous — who otherwise can be relied upon to flog left-wing causes — avoided the tax.
The Los Angeles Times notes that super-agent Ari Emanuel, among other Hollywood heavy hitters, sold their homes at steep discounts to avoid having to pay additional taxes that apply to homes above a certain price:
Before Measure ULA took effect in April, some wealthy residents scrambled to avoid paying the new “mansion tax” that would fund affordable housing and homelessness prevention. Even celebrities known for their liberal ideals and humanitarian crusades happened to sell, for whatever reason, right before the tax went into effect.
Even before voters passed the measure, bringing a 4% transfer tax on all property sales above $5 million and 5.5% on sales above $10 million in the city of L.A., attorneys and real estate agents began devising ways to shirk it. In the waning days of March, luxury homeowners made increasingly desperate attempts to sell their long-held properties before the deadline.
Of Emanuel, who sold his home for $14.5 million after originally asking $25.9 million, the Times notes: “By selling before April, he saved roughly $800,000 he would have owed under ULA.”
As Breitbart News recently noted, the tax has largely been a flop thus far, “bringing sales of luxury homes to a halt while raising little money for affordable housing.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.