Measure BL - November 8, 2022

About Measure BL 

In the November 2022 election, Culver City residents can vote on Measure BL, which proposes updating the City's business license tax rates and business classifications.

If adopted, Measure BL would adopt an ordinance amending Culver City’s business license tax ordinance (C.C.M.C. Chapter 11), which currently imposes tax rates established in 1965. Measure BL is a "general tax," not a "special tax," and may be used for general City purposes, including for services like emergency response, addressing homelessness and maintaining parks.

Because it is a general tax, Measure BL requires a simple majority voter approval ("50 percent plus one") to pass in the November 8, 2022 election. A majority “Yes” vote on Measure BL would adopt the ordinance. A majority “No” vote would not adopt the ordinance. If approved, Measure BL would remain in place until ended by voters.

If approved, Measure BL would bring the City’s business license tax rates in-line with the current market and neighboring cities, including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Inglewood.

Measure BL Ballot Measure Language 

Measure BL: Shall the measure updating Culver City’s business license tax to either a flat tax up to $1,000, or 0.13%-0.35% of gross receipts (depending on business type), 4% for oil well operations, and an additional 0.01% for gross receipts over $100,000,000, exempting the first $200,000 in gross receipts, updating business classifications, generating approximately $10,000,000 annually, until ended by voters, for such general fund services as emergency response, parks, homelessness services, and requiring annual independent audits, be adopted?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a business license tax?

A business license tax is a tax that businesses pay annually, either based on a percentage of their gross revenues or as a flat tax, depending on business type.

Who pays the business license tax?

Every business operating in Culver City is required to file a business license tax application before opening up shop and to pay the annual tax each year thereafter.

The following businesses and organizations are required to obtain a business tax certificate and any necessary permits; however, they are not required to pay a business tax: charitable organizations; parks, recreation & community services contractors; employees (whether on salary, commission, or other compensation basis); and homeowners’ associations.

Why is Measure BL appearing on the November 2022 ballot?

As a part of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, City Council directed staff to assess the long-term financial stability of the City by reviewing existing sources of revenue. The business license tax was identified as one of the existing sources of revenues that should be reviewed for long-term financial stability.

Culver City’s business license tax has not been updated since 1965, and many of the categories for different business types are outdated or no longer applicable.

On June 13, 2022, City Council voted to place Measure BL on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot. If passed, Measure BL would generate approximately $10 million annually. That revenue would go into the City's General Fund to use for general City purposes, including for services like emergency response, addressing homelessness and maintaining parks.

What are Culver City’s current business license tax rates?

Culver City’s business license tax rates are based on either gross receipts or a flat rate tax, depending on business type, and currently ranges from 0.1% to 0.3%:

Gross Receipts Tax Rates

  • GRT-A – 0.1% or $1/$1,000
  • GRT-B – 0.1% or $1/$1,000
  • GRT-C – 0.3% or $3/$1,000
  • Oil well operations tax rate – 1.8% or $18/$1,000
  • Flat tax up to $720
  • No tax exemption on gross receipts

View "Exhibit B" of the proposed ordinance for a list of business classifications.

How would Measure BL change Culver City’s business license tax rates?

Measure BL proposes updating Culver City's business license tax rates from the current range of 0.1% - 0.3% to a new range of 0.13% - 0.35%, based on either gross receipts or a flat rate tax. Tax rates will vary by business classification.

Gross Receipts Tax Rates

  • GRT-A – 0.13% or $1.30/$1,000
  • GRT-B – 0.15% or $1.50/$1,000
  • GRT-C – 0.16% or $1.60/$1,000
  • GRT-D – 0.20% or $2.00/$1,000
  • GRT-E – 0.25% or $2.50/$1,000
  • GRT-F – 0.30% or $3.00/$1,000
  • GRT-G – 0.35% or $3.50/$1,000
  • Oil well operations tax rate – 4.0% or $40/$1,000
  • Flat tax up to $1,000
  • Tax exemption on the first $200,000 in annual gross receipts for businesses whose tax rate is based on gross receipts
  • Additional tax of 0.01% or $0.10/$1,000 on gross receipts more than $100 million

View "Exhibit B" of the proposed ordinance for a list of business classifications.

How do I know if Measure BL would apply to me/my business?

Culver City currently has approximately 10,300 active businesses. If voters approve Measure BL, approximately 6,000 businesses will no longer pay the annual business license tax, due to the $200,000 gross receipts exemption. Businesses whose annual gross receipts exceed $200,000 could pay a higher or lower business license tax, depending on their business type and gross receipts.

How would Measure BL affect local business owners?

If voters approve Measure BL, approximately 6,000 businesses will no longer pay the annual business license tax, due to the $200,000 gross receipts exemption. Businesses whose annual gross receipts exceed $200,000 could pay a higher or lower business license tax, depending on their business type and gross receipts.

How would Measure BL affect the Culver City community?

Business license tax revenue is a part of the General Fund and can be used for any general City purpose. If voters approve Measure BL, revenue from the measure could generate approximately $10 million annually (until ended by voters) and would require annual independent audits. The City could use this revenue for services such as emergency response, maintaining parks and addressing homelessness.

Are there exemptions to the proposed business license tax?

Yes, if voters approve Measure BL, approximately 6,000 businesses will no longer pay the annual business license tax, due to the tax exemption on the first $200,000 in annual gross receipts for businesses whose tax rate is based on gross receipts.

The existing exemption from the business license tax will continue to apply to the following businesses and organizations:

  • Charitable Organizations
  • Parks, Recreation & Community Services Contractors
  • Employees
  • Homeowners’ Associations

Is Measure BL a general or special tax?

Measure BL is a "general tax," not a "special tax," and may be used for any general City purpose, such as emergency response, maintaining parks and addressing homelessness. General tax revenues are deposited into the City's General Fund. Because it is a general tax, Measure BL requires a simple majority voter approval ("50 percent plus one") to pass in the November 8, 2022 election.

Like other City revenues, business license tax revenue is subject to annual independent audits.

When would Measure BL go into effect?

If approved, Measure BL would go into effect on April 1, 2023 for all new businesses. Businesses currently active in Culver City would not be impacted until the 2024 business license tax renewal period, which is due no later than February 2024.

When would Measure BL expire?

Measure BL would remain in effect until ended by voters.

What are examples of how Measure BL would affect businesses?

Here are some examples of how different business classifications may be affected by Measure BL:

  • Retail/Restaurant businesses that generate gross receipts less than $600,000 a year would pay a lower tax or no tax. Retail/Restaurant businesses that generate gross receipts that total $600,000 or more a year would pay a higher tax under the proposed tax structure.
  • Building Contractors that generate gross receipts less than $400,000 a year would pay a lower tax or no tax. Building Contractors that generate gross receipts that total $400,000 or more a year would pay a higher tax under the proposed tax structure.
  • Apartment/Commercial Property Rentals that generate gross receipts less than $865,000 a year would pay a lower tax or no tax. Apartment/Commercial Property Rentals that generate gross receipts that total $865,000 or more a year would pay a higher tax under the proposed tax structure.
  • Studios, motion picture/television/radio, that generate gross receipts less than $533,000 a year would pay a lower tax or no tax. Studios, motion picture/television/radio, that generate gross receipts that total $533,000 or more a year would pay a higher tax under the proposed tax structure.
  • Medical and Professional Services that generate gross receipts less than $1,400,000 a year would pay a lower tax or no tax. Medical and Professional Services that generate gross receipts that total $1,400,000 or more a year would pay a higher tax under the proposed tax structure.
  • Business & Administrative Office Services that generate gross receipts less than $300,000 a year would pay a lower tax or no tax. Business & Administrative Office Services that generate gross receipts that total $300,000 or more a year would pay a higher tax under the proposed tax structure.

To see how your business type is affected, view "Exhibit B" of the proposed ordinance for a list of business classifications.

 

Contact Information

To contact the City Manager’s Office:

(310) 253-6000 | MeasureBL@CulverCity.org

Llame a la Ciudad al (310) 253-6000 si necesita información en español.

General Municipal Election - November 8, 2022

The next City Council election is on November 8, 2022 for two city council seats and two ballot measures.

 

To vote on Measure BL in the City of Culver City, you need to register to vote by the October 24, 2022 deadline:

 

Measure BL Handout

Click/tap the image below for a brief explanation of Measure BL

What You Need to Know About Measure BL: Updating Culver City Business License Tax Rates