Culver City, Keeps Business Tax Penalties the Same
September 28, 2023
The City Council unanimously agreed to keep the current penalty rate structure for nonpayment of the City's business tax. Businesses with less than $200,000 in annual gross receipts are exempt from Culver City's business license tax, which was updated by voters in 2022 with Measure BL. Roughly 60% of Culver City businesses will be exempt from paying business license taxes each year. All businesses must file a renewal form each year to receive a business tax certificate. The current penalty rate for nonpayment of business license tax and fees is assessed at 20% in the first month, which increases to 100% after five months. There is no interest accrued on the unpaid tax and fees.
Leadership Culver City Sponsored
In a 3-2 vote, the City Council approved City sponsorship of Leadership Culver City (LCC). LCC is a nine-month program that was founded in 2018 to promote more civic engagement among residents. Participants receive leadership and communication skills training, as well as a focus on topical issues facing Culver City. Participants pay a $900 tuition fee, which covers the cost of instruction and meals. City leadership staff have historically made presentations to the group. As part of the City's sponsorship, the City's Assistant to the City Manager will serve as a member of the LCC Working Group to guide and give input on the program.
Honoring Jozelle Smith and Additional Proclamations
Monday's City Council meeting began on a bittersweet note with a commendation, honoring the life of Jozelle Jeanette Lawless Smith, a former Mayor and Council Member for Culver City in the 1980s and 1990s who passed away in August. Her husband, Ken, of 64 years, accepted the commendation, along with family. "Those claps are for her," Ken smiled as the chamber applauded the family and Jozelle's memory.
The City Council also presented four proclamations, including the Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, designating September 19th, 2023, as National Voter Registration Day, designating October 2023 as "Walktober," and designating October 4th, 2023, as "Clean Air Day."
Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell Presentation
Los Angeles County Second District Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell visited the City Council, providing a presentation on partnerships with the City. Mitchell commended Culver City's efforts, calling it a "shining example" with the work being done alongside Los Angeles County in addressing mental health, homelessness, and racial equity. She congratulated the City of Culver City on securing funds from LA County's Measure H Cities Innovation Fund. The LA County Department of Mental Health and the Anti-Racism Diversity and Inclusion (ARDI) Initiative joined Supervisor Mitchell in speaking with the City Council.
'Safe Sleep' and Project Homekey Update
The City Council received an update from Tevis Barnes, Director of Housing and Human Services, on Culver City's 'Safe Sleep' program and the upcoming ribbon-cutting of Culver City's Project Homekey supportive housing project. Currently, six men and thirteen women occupy the Safe Sleep site, which opened in August. The average age of the occupants is 48 years, with the average length of time unhoused being three years. Meanwhile, the City will hold a ribbon-cutting for Project Homekey on Saturday, September 29th. The site will be home to 73 rooms to "create a sense of calm and healing," according to Barnes. Exodus Recovery will provide services and is responsible for maintenance of the site.
Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency Presentation
During a presentation, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency (LAHSA) offered insight into the number of unhoused neighbors in Culver City. LAHSA presented the county-wide numbers, noting that numbers from smaller jurisdictions such as Culver City are less precise. The data on the number of unhoused neighbors was collected over a few nights. It showed that Culver City has an estimated 261 unhoused persons at the time of the count, which occurred in January 2023. LAHSA explained that the numbers are an estimate only, due to the counting methodology and statistical methods used.
Additional Council Decisions
Additional items approved by the City Council include receipt of the biannual written reports from Culver City's Commissions, Boards, and Committees; an amendment to the City's agreement with We Are Rally for communications services; approval for the purchase of 10 traffic signal battery backup systems; and award of an in-kind special event grant to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and designation of the 2023 Out of the Darkness Walk as a City-sponsored event.
Additional information about each of the topics heard at the City Council meeting can be found in the staff reports and backup attachments for the items, which are posted along with the agenda to the City's website. The video of the City Council meeting will be posted to the City's website, typically within 72 hours of the meeting date.
The City Council's next meeting is scheduled for October 9th.