A Windfall for Los Angeles Landlords “Burdened” with Rent Control

Could landlords of rent-controlled buildings be exempted from paying city business taxes? Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks is proposing just that, or at least reducing those taxes. Parks, who says rent control places undue burdens on landlords, has indicated that this proposal could also apply to those landlords who agree to affordable rents for federally subsidized tenants.

According to a recent study published by the California Apartment Association, landlords of rent-controlled units pay an estimated $14 million a year in business taxes — a figure that has tenants rights advocates worried that a tax break for landlords would represent a shortfall for city programs that benefit, among others, rent-controlled tenants. The LA chapter of the CAA supports Parks’s initiative, saying it would help landlords finance building repairs. Considering there’s nothing in the proposal that requires that the savings be directed toward repairs, we’ll file this assertion under “skeptical.”

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