Save Culver City Businesses Vote No On Measure BL
October 13, 2022
Measure BL, on Culver City’s November ballot, is a proposal to raise the annual business license tax on Culver City businesses based on what category the business falls into and its gross revenues.
Because Culver City’s business license tax is based on the gross revenue of the business – not the profit from operations – a business could be operating at a loss but still receive a huge tax bill from the city.
While the proposal exempts businesses with gross revenues below $200,000 annually, that will only protect very small businesses, typically sole entrepreneurs operating out of their house. There are about 6,000 such small enterprises licensed in Culver City.
The businesses most endangered by this proposal are the small- to medium-sized businesses our community counts on every single day: the coffee shop on your block; your hair and nail salon; and the small market or restaurant around the corner from you. The places you have supported for decades could be on the brink of closing as the result of this proposal, especially after already weathering the pandemic.
Consider the environment these businesses are facing. We have all heard about labor shortages – every business is having difficulty finding employees to keep the business operating. Not only are workers hard to hire, but salaries and benefit costs are skyrocketing. To attract potential employees, businesses are having to offer salaries well above minimum wage, more time off and signing bonuses just to attract applicants.
Along with the difficulty of hiring workers, businesses are faced with higher rents, higher costs for materials, higher costs for everything required to run the business.
A few of Culver City council members claim an increase in taxes is necessary to offset an ongoing revenue shortfall in city revenue. We believe this is a misleading statement. Not only does it not consider the windfall revenue the city is due to receive from Measure RE, the property transfer tax, which has brought in over $32 Million this year alone, but City Council has also not considered any cost-cutting or savings measures that could reduce city expenses. Even more shocking for business owners, this would be the 10th tax increase in the past 13 years!
You, as a resident and consumer in Culver City, will be just as impacted as the business community if this measure passes. When a business is forced to adjust prices upward to survive, it means that the price you pay for every product, meal, or service you use goes up. If a business cannot raise its prices enough to make a profit, it cannot keep the doors open. We have seen that exact scenario play out during the Covid shutdown, where many of our local businesses simply could not survive.
Now is not the time to place another burden on our local businesses. Culver City businesses have always been willing to pay their share, and the vast majority give back to the community, supporting soccer teams, holding school fundraisers and sponsoring non-profit events. Right now, we are asking our Culver City community to support us. Vote NO on Measure BL. Give us an opportunity to recover so we can continue to support you.
Culver City Chamber of Commerce