Thurmond Bill Will Permit Berkeley Voters to Raise Funds to Address Homelessness Passes Assembly

Monday, May 14, 2018

SACRAMENTO – AB 2920, authored by Assemblymember Thurmond (D- Richmond), will provide the Berkeley City Council with the opportunity to place a sales tax measure on the ballot that would fund and address homelessness and other city services such as mental health and public safety. If a potential sales tax measure of up to .5 percent is placed on the ballot in the future, it would need to be approved by voters. The bill has passed out of the Assembly and heads to the Senate.

The City of Berkeley has a homeless crisis declaration in place. The number of individual homeless residents has increased by 16 percent since 2015 and is up 43 percent from 2009. High housing costs make it difficult for these residents to purchase another home.

“As the cost of housing has increased so has Berkeley’s homeless population,” said Thurmond. “This bill will allow voters to choose whether they want to increase taxes to address this need. I am happy to partner with the City of Berkeley to address the issue locally, while continuing to fight for statewide solutions as well.”

In addition to generating more revenue to reduce homelessness, Berkeley seeks to use the potential funds in support of community policing and provide care to residents suffering from mental illnesses. 

AB 2920 is sponsored by the City of Berkeley.

RELEASE CONTACT: Ayodeji Taylor (916) 319-2015

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.