News

Upsetting sacred cows to solve housing crisis?

Overruling local land-use rules, revising Prop. 13 on the table at housing summit

Is Silicon Valley's housing crisis reaching the point where dire action is needed?

At a housing summit last week, a panel of experts and policymakers discussed the need for sacrificing some "sacred cows" to address the South Bay's lack of housing and skyrocketing prices. Among the ideas, speakers suggested repealing Proposition 13's property-tax protections, rescinding cities' independent authority to reject affordable housing development and passing a countywide $750-million bond in November to help fund subsidized housing.

The suggestions came at the start of a housing summit in Mountain View on Friday, May 13, organized by the new housing-focused nonprofit, SV@Home. Coming at the start of Santa Clara County's Affordable Housing Week, the event served to promote the new advocacy nonprofit as well as its road-map of suggested actions to alleviate the area's housing shortfall.

Year to year, Santa Clara County is seeing a widening housing gap with tens of thousands of new jobs are being created each year, but there's not nearly enough housing for those workers. Just last year, the South Bay added 64,000 new jobs, but only 5,000 new housing units, according to Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a regional think tank. To fully meet the area's demand by 2022, about 93,700 new low-income and moderate-income units would need to be built, according to the Association of Bay Area Governments.

Some of these suggestions might not seem particularly novel or new. At the top of the SV@Home's list is to build more housing, pretty much in any way possible. Their strategy boiled down to "land, money and changing the conversation on housing," said SV@Home Executive Director Leslye Corsiglia.

"This really is the need to deal with a lack of housing supply for all people, whether they live on the street or work for our highest-paying employers," she said.

Described as the South Bay's first advocacy group focused solely on housing, SV@Home is joining the political discussion at a particularly challenging time. With a transportation tax already expected for the November ballot, county supervisors are also investigating bringing a $750 million bond measure to voters to pay for a spree of new affordable housing. Corsiglia said her new advocacy group could serve a powerful role by helping push that measure as well as encouraging the various South Bay cities to also do their part.

Mountain View praised

Mountain View was picked to host the SV@Home event, which was held at Microsoft's La Avenida campus. Showing a map of North Bayshore, Corsiglia touted the city's long-term vision to create about 10,000 new housing units in the office-heavy neighborhood. She said her group is encouraging Vally Transportation Authority officials to guarantee that when it redevelops its North Bayshore bus yard, it will be some type of housing.

Mountain View received a string of praise from housing advocates for the city's recent turn toward promoting housing growth. Invited to speak at the start of the day, Mayor Pat Showalter pointed out the city had built 1,200 below-market rate units since a local ordinance was passed in 1999, and she promised that plenty more are on the way.

"The people who have these units have been given the dignity to live within their means," Showalter said. "That's so important to the quality of their life and the quality of our life, to still have them in the community."

As many speakers pointed out, this pro-housing outlook wasn't shared by many other South Bay communities. In a panel discussion, several experts blasted the mindset of some of the region's affluent cities for buckling to local property owners demands and rejecting affordable housing projects.

Gabriel Metcalf, president of SPUR, a Bay Area urban-planning nonprofit, called for a "culture change" in local governance. City leaders should be pressured -- or compelled -- to address regional needs in their decision-making, he said. To gasps from the audience, Metcalf suggested cities should be restricted in their land-use powers if they flouted the area's housing needs.

"It's fine if you feel that you don't want to be inconvenienced by a new building or new housing, but it should be shameful to be like that as a citizen," he said. "It's not acceptable to say other people don't have a chance to be part of (your area)."

Some influential policymakers seem to agree. As part of the his proposed state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown recently unveiled a proposal to make housing developments with 20-percent affordable units automatically be approved for construction permits, as long as they meet local general plan and zoning requirements.

Every city has its own history of housing developments being shot down due to the complaints of neighboring homeowners. But at the housing summit, the city of Santa Clara earned special opprobrium for its February decision to gut a proposed 450-home apartment project across from a Caltrain station due, in part, to neighbors' concerns over a lack of parking.

In the short term, some experts suggested the best way to speedily provide more affordable housing would be to encourage cities to facilitate homeowners in building so-called granny units -- smaller, secondary homes on their properties. If just 10 percent of Santa Clara County's homeowners built secondary units, that would provide 50,000 new units without the need for the drawn-out public review needed for an apartment project, said Matt Regan, senior vice president with the Bay Area Council. It wasn't a perfect solution, but it was a quick and easy fix, he said.

"This is not a silver bullet; it's a piece of silver buckshot," he said.

Proposition 13

For the long-term, Regan and other speakers suggested remedies that could prove hard to swallow. Proposition 13, the 1979 ballot measure that capped taxes for property owners, has created an unfair system where long-term residents and commercial property owners are leaving it up to new home-buyers to shoulder the tax burden, Metcalf said. He and other speakers suggested repealing or amending it, even though such efforts in the past haven't succeeded.

"Some of these sacred cows, about local control and making new people pay for government and not the long-time residents, we have to question that at this point," Metcalf said.

Other relief could be coming at the state level, pointed out Aime Fishman, executive director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. Current state legislation being considered would allow cities that previously had redevelopment agencies to reclaim their lost property taxes for affordable housing projects. A separate state Assembly bill would help empower cities to require developers to add affordable housing to larger housing projects rather than pay an in-lieu fee.

The experts were asked whether Silicon Valley's non-stop jobs growth was beginning to seem more a burden than a boon. In some ways, Regan said, it felt that way, with service workers, teachers and even many tech workers finding the area unaffordable.

"Growth without any objective is the ideology of a cancer cell," he said. "Right now we've got a lot of people at the top and a lot at the bottom, and we've chopped off social mobility."

Email Mark Noack at mnoack@mv-voice.com

Comments

38 people like this
Posted by Humble observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2016 at 12:47 pm

So in the venerable tradition so firmly established by the Association of Bay-Area Governments (ABAG), this self-styled "panel of experts and policymakers" convenes a "housing summit" to propose to force their vision of utopia onto local communities whether they like it or not. It is usual in these situations that most of the "experts and policymakers" (1) won't expect personally to have to live with the results of what they propose (the mantra "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs" is beloved by those whose own eggs aren't at risk); (2) possess personal vested interest in their proposals, as representatives of bureaucracies, the housing-development industry, and their consultants; and (3) carefully manage their discussions so as to exclude any realities they prefer to ignore. That includes cherry-picking whom they recognize as "stakeholders," while ignoring (or impugning) reasoned views outside their party line.


374 people like this
Posted by OMG
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Really!!
Repeal prop. 13?
We already been there, done that. It hurt more people when we did not have the protections from prop.13. That is why voters approved the passage of prop. 13 to begin with. You will have even more expensive rents if you repealed this.

People had better wake up and realize that we have an intolerant group of people who see others who own property as their funding source for social and moral justice issues.

This will only make the middle class poorer and will be a big calling card for low income people across the country to come here for tax payer paid subsidies.


44 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2016 at 1:57 pm

It seems to me the easiest thing is to provide some incentives to move some of the companies to an area interested in having the investments, and where a new and growing jobs center would benefit the area. Then everytine a company moves out of a space, apply new rules to how many employees can go there per square foot.

Adding more housing willy nilly creates all kinds of problems, especially in an area where water is scarce. It's WAY easier to solve this problem by creating incentive to move some of the jobs OUT. Overdevelopment during boom times leaves a REAL mess for residents to pay for during bust times. Housing policies should prioritize longtime residents who are getting squeezed out. The jobs housing imbalance is better solved by creating incentives to move some of the jobs. It's a much more holistic solution, and makes our nation stronger.


166 people like this
Posted by OMG
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm

The problem is, our area has one main industry. It is a high skilled job. Yes, it is high tech. We have very few other jobs and it is mostly in the service area. Most others who have a low wage, part time job should think about re-locating to another low cost area. Normally I would not even bring this up in public, but since we have people telling them to stay here and we will work to take away from others to give to you, I have to start to speak up before the loud people take over rights that belong to individuals.


9 people like this
Posted by Wake Up People
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 2:08 pm


Rosa Koire has it right. Listen to what she says. Read what she has written. She is spot on.

Below is an interview with a columnist for Huffpo and it is on point. FYI, Rosa Koire is a liberal democrat, in case you were to thinking she is a right wingnut, she's NOT...she's just informed. Party affiliation does not matter with regard to this seeping agenda...it's BAD NEWS.

This is what you are beginning to see happening here & now, and Plan Bay Area & ABAG are up to their eyeballs in it.

Educate yourselves.


Web Link


94 people like this
Posted by Jamie
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm

Repeal Prop 13? Oh that is right make is so senior citizens can not afford to live here even though they have spent the last 40 years paying taxes and supporting Mountain View. Makes sense, they do have lots about the size of 150 by 35. You could probably build 10 units on that! Talk about about a group of people that will never be able to get a job in the tech industry! Don't worry about them they are just a bunch of old people anyway. Nice.

And why raise taxes to pay for new housing? Why are you not making the developers pay for new housing? After all they make all the profit.


12 people like this
Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

People want to work for successful companies in a part of the country where they can learn from others at the top of their field, and easily switch jobs if need be. Economics research shows that your salary increases faster if you are in a "hot" geographic area where this is possible (according to Tim Harford's book Undercover Economist). And companies are more successful in such an environment, generating even more jobs. So people and companies will keep moving to the greater New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco areas for decades to come.

The question now is: do we deal with that in a level-headed and rational way? Or do we stick our heads in the sand and think that Mountain View can for ever remain what it was in the 1960s?


82 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 19, 2016 at 3:45 pm

I urge all of you to get a copy of "Agenda 21". It is a novel, yes, but it is a prediction of the future, wherein all local controls are gone, bureaucracy rules. All are "equal", etc. Same low level housing, same foods, same clothing, etc. Read it...Please.
You will see how even at our city council level, individuals are losing their rights, the govt. is compelling in all areas of life.
Look at it PLEASE....and get ready..or better yet, learn to RESIST.


60 people like this
Posted by ann
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm

leave prop 13 alone....it helps everyone by putting a cap on how much they can raise everyone's property taxes....not just seniors...it keeps rents down...rents will go way up if they get rid of prop 13.....tenants need to realize this... prop 13 is the best thing we ever did to put a stop to this out of control spending. OMG i agree with you totally and speaking out...


38 people like this
Posted by CA Native
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 19, 2016 at 4:16 pm

CA Native is a registered user.

Leave Prop 13 alone for Residentual Housing. Modify Prop 13 for business property. There are more than enough studies that show the property tax "burden" have shifted away from business to residential housing since Prop 13 was passed. This needs to be reversed back to pre-Prop 13 levels.


146 people like this
Posted by Fed Up
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2016 at 5:44 pm

I am SO fed up with people who (1) feel they’re ENTITLED to live here, (2) think that long-term residents have not paid their fair share over the years and have no right to decide what kind of city we want to live in.

I guess only the nouveau techies have the right to determine our quality of life. Those of us who rebel at turning our suburban towns into high-rise urban areas and are fed up with traffic and parking are just a bunch of selfish evil people.

We can blame our greedy governments for welcoming Google, Facebook, Palantir and all the rest of the big companies who have saturated the area with humongous office complexes – never considering the fact that the infrastructure just can’t support so much growth.

It’s not MY fault that the average person can’t afford a home here. I wish they could because the diversity – of nationalities AND incomes – we once enjoyed was what made this area great.

Now I’m supposed to pay more taxes, sit in traffic (and be vilified because I’m not riding a bike), watch the sunlight and views disappear behind tall buildings, miss my favorite mom-&-pop stores that can’t afford the rents, and let the wealthy young techies tell me I’m the bad guy because I want to preserve the quality of life that brought me here in the first place.

And stop spreading the mythology that if only we build more housing, rents will go down. Go to Manhattan where it’s pretty darn dense, and you’ll still pay $6,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. And the really wealthy people commute to the city from the suburbs of upstate NY and Connecticut because they want a back yard and a picket fence.


21 people like this
Posted by Fed Up
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm

George, who is the author of Agenda 21? There are multiple books with that title. Thanks.


27 people like this
Posted by We're screwed
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 19, 2016 at 6:28 pm

[Post removed due to promoting a website]


7 people like this
Posted by prop13 is bad news
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2016 at 7:15 pm

prop13 is bad news is a registered user.

Prop 13 is a major contributor to our high housing costs. Those who bought decades ago pay by far some of the lowest property taxes in the entire country. Conversely, those who bought recently pay by far some of the highest property taxes in the entire country, contributing upwards of 30% to a family's monthly housing expense. The difference in tax on a similar property for someone who bought before 1993 vs someone who bought in 2015 is easily 15x.

Santa Clara County's effective tax rate is about 0.57%. There are plenty of solutions that somewhat normalize the taxes of those who aren't paying their fair share without having to pay the 1% of their current home value they would pay in almost any other state. I say "fair share" and absolutely mean it-- if everyone paid a $1,000 property tax, our state would be in complete shambles.


12 people like this
Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 19, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Doug Pearson is a registered user.

Taxes pay for what our governments do for us (Democrats) or to us (Republicans). The Federal government can borrow as much money as it needs to make up the difference when taxes are too low; California and local governments cannot.

California's taxes are too low. I say this because they are not enough to pay for all the things we want state and local governments to do for us, like fix the potholes, give our kids a good education, and help the poorest of us to pay their food, housing and medical bills. ("The poorest of us" mainly have wages that are too low. Increasing the minimum wage will be a big help.)

But because they are a cost to taxpayers, taxes are unfair.

One of the reasons our taxes are too low is Prop 13. I am a BIG beneficiary of Prop 13. We bought our house in 1979 and it is now worth 15 times what we paid for it while our property taxes are only about 2.5 times as much. This is not fair to people who bought their houses in the last few years, but (see other comments) Prop 13 is here to stay.

Sales taxes are also unfair; they are a higher percent of income for the poorest of us than for the rest of us. They are regressive. Nevertheless, they are the easiest tax to raise, and are therefor higher than I think they should be.

Payroll taxes are unfair: rich people pay a smaller percent of income on payroll taxes than the rest of us. (Payroll taxes are Federal taxes, not a state or local tax.)

The California income tax is unfair; it is a higher percent of income for rich people or businesses than for poor people. But because it and the Federal income tax are the only major taxes that are progressive, I think they should be even more progressive.

Despite all this unfairness, I say again, our taxes are too low. And, to the senior citizen, I say your problem is not that your tax is too high but that your income is too low, a problem you share with the poorest of us.


126 people like this
Posted by ann
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2016 at 9:02 pm

bad news...why on earth would you want to raise anybody's taxes....do you think honestly think big brother is going to pay your rent or mortgage with the revenue if prop 13 were taken away. no...they are just going to blow the money..prop 13 puts a cap on property tax increases for everyone...no matter when you bought. if prop 13 were to go away....tenants rents would skyrocket..as they are paying the taxes via their rent... that is true for a business that rents also... Prop 13 is the best piece of legislation ever passed by the people of california..


6 people like this
Posted by No-profit-left
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 20, 2016 at 2:30 am

Another "non-profit" (don't say corporation) headed up by a CEO using salesmanship and government to fill the no-profit-left corporate coffers. And how about that corporate "leadership group"? Do they have plans for your property and money? Bet on it. Plans and scams are now nearly indistinguishable.


2 people like this
Posted by No-profit-left
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 20, 2016 at 2:31 am

Another "non-profit" (don't say corporation) headed up by a CEO using salesmanship and government to fill the no-profit-left corporate coffers. And how about that corporate "leadership group"? Do they have plans for your property and money? Bet on it. Plans and scams are now nearly indistinguishable.


Like this comment
Posted by Prop 13
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2016 at 3:58 am

30% of monthly expenses from Property taxes? Get real. It's max 1% of assessed value.
Even with low mortgage rates, the cost of carrying a mortgage is 5% or more of assessed value. Then you have insurance, utilities, and maintenance.

You might argue that mortgage rates are too low. Up them and then the new buyers will
pay a lot more, but those who already have mortgages will keep their rates for the most part.

So unfair.

If you lower taxes on new property purchases, that will help to allow purchasers to bid up property values when they buy. It will all end up being the same. What you need to do is to have property taxes go up on the new buyers, not the old owners. That would help keep a check on home values.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Blossom Valley

on May 20, 2016 at 11:11 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


12 people like this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Just stop building office buildings, we have way more than enough jobs in the small town of Mountain View. We don't want to taken over by outsiders with their ideas, if they want more housing build it in their town better yet on their property.
We have to be careful who we elect to the City coucil in the next election be sure to vote only for those that will stop the rampant growth in Mountain View.


10 people like this
Posted by prop13 is bad news
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm

prop13 is bad news is a registered user.

@Prop 13-- the 30% figure was not hypothetical, our property tax of $15,000 is about 25% of our monthly expense (counting just mortgage and property tax, not insurance/utilities).

We need to at least recognize that the system we have now is in fact a subsidy for owners who have been in the system for two or more decades. If all homeowners were paying taxes at those rates, we would not have roads, schools, or parks at all. Perhaps a good solution would normalize the tax rate to somewhere around 0.65% over the course of (say) 20 years.

No one needs to be forced out of their home. But we should not be excessively incentivizing them to stay either. No other state in the country has a policy like that.


8 people like this
Posted by prop13 is bad news
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm

prop13 is bad news is a registered user.

Note that prop13 is also a major reason why our sales tax (a regressive tax) is so high. On the face, our property tax is about 1%. In reality, we collect at 0.57%. If we were at a more reasonable 0.65% across the board, our sales tax would not need to make up so much of the difference.

And to those who say we collect to many taxes, I ask: what services would you like to get rid of? Road repairs, park maintenance, or public education?


41 people like this
Posted by Jim
a resident of North Whisman
on May 20, 2016 at 7:41 pm

All you people who keep complaining that prop.13 is the root of all our problems, [portion removed; keep it civil].

California ranks as the second worst state for taxpayers, with the average burden totaling $9,509.
New York is first at $9,718.

Our neighbouring state of Nevada is the third lowest taxed at $3,370.

With the enormously high cost of property here, you can buy that same house for 1/10th the price in States like Arizona, Nevada and many others. Yet they have the same roads, schools, etc and they get it done with a fraction of what the property taxes are.

So stop spreading fud.

The state and city bring in so much more money than what is needed, the problem here is all levels of government keeps growing and makes promises to public employee unions for benefits that it can not pay for. Now you have people like the MountainViewTenantsCoalition/DayWorkerCenter, trying to get people to repeal prop.13 so that they can have more subsidized housing for themself's.

As for schools, give parents vouchers and have more charter schools. They often get it done with better results. Let parents choose where they want to send their kids.


5 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2016 at 7:50 pm

After reading most of the comments, I understand the frustration. Change oft times is difficult to accept. Often change without regard to those who have invested in a residency that was not planned to grow as it has. Basically, changes you did not sign on for nor want to have thrust upon you without your input. I do understand and can feel the pain these changes suggests and the burden you will pain because of these interruptions. Adjustments are required. Just which adjustments and how much adjusting is acceptable must be discussed. There will have to be compromises because adjustment are inevitable. The unfairness is real and reality of acceptance of these truths means emotions and tensions will be high. But we have to come to terms that meet our needs as well as minimize the impact of adjusting.


76 people like this
Posted by Christine
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 20, 2016 at 8:13 pm

@Chris,

Instead of adjusting my wallet so it will be thinner, why don't you adjust yourself into a U-Haul and move to an area where no one will have to make adjustments.


6 people like this
Posted by Pro Growth
a resident of Castro City
on May 21, 2016 at 6:56 am

I think everyone would agree that if we promote job growth, we can promote housing growth. However this group is misguided. First of all, no one has a right to subsidized housing paid for by a few landowners. Policy makers could make housing more affordable by removing onerous land restrictions. Second, Prop 13 is not the cause of any problems, except it restricts bureaucrats from excessive and wasteful spending. At worst prop 13 allows revenues to rise by 2% per year if the economy grows. The only people I see complaining about Prop 13 are those that live off the public dole. O


"Growth without any objective is the ideology of a cancer cell," he said.

Quotes like this are really silly. The idea that growth must have an objective other than creating value from voluntary exchanges is nonsense. Growth has internal limits based on the market participants.


1 person likes this
Posted by MV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

Allocate a percentage of any newly permitted apartment or condos to affordable housing.


2 people like this
Posted by lived in a tower
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 21, 2016 at 10:26 am

I have lived in a tower in a dense urban area. I have seen my childhood hometown in the LA area get much denser than the 1920's Calif. bungalow areas that used to cover most of it. High density, in some redeveloped areas, is entirely workable. Not for me - right now. But for parts of MV? Just fine. Even former Councilmembers - who were not in favor of high density in some current residential areas, were in favor of some high density residential projects. Here are dual 10 story MV residences for you! ('good old days' council) Avalon Towers built 19##?, 2nd on rt.
Web Link

It depends where housing is, it's density, public amenities, and it's mix of affordability. Some of our current and former council people, or city commission people, have specific public records on what they have supported/will support. North Bayshore, Whisman, El Camino corridor (village centers), whatever. I generally think that reporters, do a much better job of reporting and comparing local candidates - than the 'softball' questions form the League of Women Voters. These are very 'hardball' questions - and all candidates need to come to batting practice, and show us how they will swing.


34 people like this
Posted by OMG
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm

@lived in a tower,

"I generally think that reporters, do a much better job of reporting and comparing local candidates."

In general, any news organization should report facts from both sides and let the public decide.

In reality thou, this does not happen. Most news organizations have an agenda that they push, and will only post stories that further their cause.

The Mountain Voice is a prime example of this bias.

They will only support activist council members who support the editor's position.

The Voice routinely writes editorials to tell voters what issues and how they should vote.

Yet we know absolutely nothing about the editor, publisher, and reporters who are at the Voice.
There is no transparency at all. They do not even live in Mountain View.

They need to publicly state what boards they are on, what city do they live in, what investments do they have, etc.

If they can not state the same information about themself's, in the same way as any candidate or people who spend money to campaign for an issue, then they should not be commenting on any issue that affects our city.

I have seen enough of the bias from the Voice to know to vote the opposite of what they say.

If you need some proof about their bias, just look at the 2 hottest issues right now. Rent control and repeal Prop. 13.

They have never once covered any of the foreclosures or bankruptcy that landlords went thru in the last recession, or published any of the expensives or what the banks need in order to refinance a loan. Not one single story!!

The Voice/MountainViewTenantsCoalition/DayWorkerCenter are one and the same group of people that are wanting to get property owners to pay for their social and moral justice issues.


16 people like this
Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2016 at 4:58 pm

A++++. Repeal Prop 13. No, seniors won't be evicted. If you can't afford property taxes then the county will simply collect when the property is sold. That's part of CA law already and a good protection.

Prop 13 cheats schools out of funding and puts all of the tax burden on young families. It's absolutely immoral.

If you want low property taxes, increase the supply. Artificially starving school of revenue while blocking construction is as evil as it gets.


13 people like this
Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 21, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Also, how incredibly messed up is it that apartment companies benefit from Prop 13's reduced taxes while being able to charge bleeding edge rents?

No, Prop 13 will not raise rents. Apartments charge whatever they can squeeze out of the market.


3 people like this
Posted by Successful
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2016 at 7:43 pm

I am so tire of all the liberals interfering with my highly profitable real estate investments. I worked hard to get there and deserve the squeak as much money out of these damn googlers while I can.

I took a risk. I maxed out my credit cards to get a down payment on my first property. Had to lie all over the place to qualify! I turned that two properties here and five more elsewhere. Unfortunately, the market tanked so I just walked away from the bad investments and let the government deal with it.

My two good local homes went up high. One is a rental and I live in half the other. I charge as much as possible and don't care if they have to leave. Haven't had to work in many, many years. Let others do the work!

Please stop trying to mess with my life you liberals!


8 people like this
Posted by Successful Not!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2016 at 9:30 pm

^^^^^^
I believe the word that best describes this is

DREAMERS


2 people like this
Posted by Prop 13
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Complaining about a recent purchasers paying 30% of monthly housing expense to taxes is misleading. That could only happen if the person put a very big down payment so the mortgage was small. That's not an accurate representation. If you pay cash with no
mortgage than taxes are going to be 100% of the housing cost. Size the mortgage anyway you want and taxes are any fraction you want.

But with a 20% downpayment and a 4.5% loan using the fact that the yearly payment is about 6% of the amount borrowed and property tax is about 1% of the total value, we have a more reasonable case where the yearly mortgage payment is 4.8% of the total value versus 1% for taxes. 17.24% of the cost is taxes, not 30%. To get to 30% you'd need the total expense to be 3.3% of the value with 2.3% coming from mortgage (P+I).
So again with 4.5% loan rate and payment 6% of the amount financed to get 2.3% of the value, you'd need the amount financed to be 38% of value or a downpayment of 62%.

THEN you'd have a payment where taxes were 30% of the total.

Or, you might have a balloon payment in all of this, which is another issue, or you might have a 30 year due in 5 mortgage with an intro rate much lower than 4.5%.


7 people like this
Posted by Marcin Romaszewicz
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 23, 2016 at 10:51 am

Marcin Romaszewicz is a registered user.

49 other states in the US get by without Prop 13 without the problems it's supposed to address here. I'm familiar with RI, where I grew up, and they have discounts for seniors and owner-occupied homes, as an example. The tax rate is also highly variable by city, so people can always move to a cheaper tax city if that's an issue.

If you assume that all the other broken rules are around to stay, then Prop 13 makes sense in that it prevents evictions due to skyrocketing taxes due to increased housing prices, but it's not the only way to keep people on fixed incomes in their homes.

Prop 13 probably isn't changing, it's the 3rd rail of CA politics, but if it was removed, and replaced with something that specifically addresses the issues of being priced out, we would get by just fine, like other states.


3 people like this
Posted by K.D.
a resident of North Whisman
on May 23, 2016 at 6:51 pm

K.D. is a registered user.

I don't know the answer to this problem, but I'm pretty sure petty arguments within newspaper comments never solved anything.


4 people like this
Posted by BoBo
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 23, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Here's an idea, let's put 1 homeless person/out priced resident in with 1 googlite per space. Set up some live camera feed. Sell the feed to some network desperate for realism. Rake in cash from the network, the city & goggle make news for itself, and solve the homelessness/lack of affordability issue😜👍


5 people like this
Posted by Prop 13 sucks
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 23, 2016 at 9:49 pm

Before Prop.13, residential property tax revenue accounted for 55% of the property tax and commercial paid 45%. Now residential shoulders 72% of the tax burden while commercial only pays 28%.

It's great that "grandma" doesn't have to move away as taxes move up with the quickly escalating home prices. However, this was in no way intended to allow multi-billion dollar businesses to "lease" the property from shell corporations and prevent change of ownership triggers that would cause reassessment. (By the way, most "grandmas" in my neighborhood seem to be leaving anyway to quieter areas and pocketing the high re-sale value or simply renting out their home at sky high prices!)

There are incredibly wide loopholes for commercial properties that must be closed. Unfortunately, we still have enough republitards in California that are doing their very best to destroy our infrastructure and ruin the educational opportunities of our younger generations.


2 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 9:57 pm

@Christine With all due respect, adjusting is not just impacting your wallet. Your suggestion is what many have been doing for the last 25 years and it still has not solved the problem if it had we would not be having this discussion today. While I do understand the frustration and difficulties we are all facing, corrective steps were not taken prior to this thus causing the crisis we currently face. Wasting time on the blame game and suggestions that will not alleviate the impact of our present reality is folly at best and merely irrelevant. However harsh that may be to hear it is nonetheless true. The 68 others that agree with your comment are understandably upset for this result of poor regional panning or the the lack thereof. Or possibly are too part of the cause as many did not support preventive measures we could have taken to not be here. Prop 13 was not 100% the best thing since sliced bread as many though it would be. The short term benefits were what many focused on at the time in 1978. I was then 19 and was against it, because of my research into the long term affects which were not given the correct attention needed to make such an adjustment. So here we are 37 years later ADJUSTING again. Everything that glitters isn't gold. Now what?


5 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 10:20 pm

Speaking of adjusting...without repealing Prop 13, it is time to adjust it and how commercial real estate benefits from Prop 13 and how those benefits for them impact residents of California. ADJUSTING. FYI...of the 3 counties who did not support it in 1978 I have lived in 2 of the 3. Go figure.


3 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2016 at 10:41 pm

For further information you might want to view this:Proposition 13: Some
Unintended Consequences
Web Link


13 people like this
Posted by Fake likers
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 24, 2016 at 2:06 am

By the way, the anti-bus brigade are at it again pumping up the "likes" with a script or keyboard macro. It's a typical ploy from the conservatives who attempt to show that more than a few people agree with them. In truth, most residents would like Prop 13 adjusted to remove the above mentioned commercial property loopholes AND have a great transit service on El Camino.

These Donald Trump sycophants are absolutely ridiculous....


Like this comment
Posted by Wake Up People
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 24, 2016 at 8:57 am



No Prop 13 Battle On November Ballot:

Web Link

"California’s political “third rail” will remain unchanged for at least another two years.

Although Proposition 13’s property tax limits have long been highly popular, anti-poverty advocates had hoped to qualify a November ballot measure that would have raised taxes on properties worth more than $3 million."

...snip...

"Proposition 13 has long been popular with voters. It's often called California’s political third rail: You touch it, you die."

...more...


7 people like this
Posted by kathy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 24, 2016 at 8:30 pm

How about a compromise, leave Prop 13 alone for now but repeal Proposition 58 and Prop 193? (or at LEAST 193). Are there stats that show how many prop owners benefit from Props 58 and 193?

Prop 58 - effective November 6, 1986, is a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of California which excludes from reassessment transfers of real property between parents and children.

Proposition 193, effective March 27, 1996, which excludes
from reassessment transfers of real property from grandparents to grandchildren, providing that all the parents of the grandchildren who qualify as children of the grandparents are deceased as of the date of transfer.


21 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 25, 2016 at 12:11 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

What is this CRISIS we face Chris? Truly. Really. What is this CRISIS? That people can't live 5 minutes from their jobs?

Someone please tell me how this is a CRISIS?

People being bombed in Middle East. Crisis
Refugees fleeing areas: Crisis
Nepal earthquake: Crisis
Poverty ridden areas overrun with Zika virus; Crisis

Inability to live in an affordable area with a minimal to moderate commute: HORROR


19 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 25, 2016 at 12:18 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

and before anyone comes back with witty commentary about CRISIS here in our own backyard.....show me one area of Mountain View where the kids/adults/impoverished families don't walk around with Converse, Nikes, iPhones, etc. All about choices my friend.

We're not impoverished. We're not in a crisis. We're SPOILED. You want to talk CRISIS, I'll take you to TJ (Tijuana), Bangkok, Liberia. Those people would die for what you don't respect.


18 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2016 at 8:07 am

Why not do something that supports longtime residents instead of annually raising all fees and taxes while ruining our quality of life with high density and congestion? We do not have sufficient resources for us to enjoy a comfortable quality of life, water, rolling blackouts. Stop making it worse by bringing more people here.
It was interesting to read that Mr Zuckerberg bought several houses surrounding his in Palo Alto so that he could have privacy in his bedroom. Here, houses are built a few feet apart and you have no privacy because windows from neighboring buildings face your bathrooms and bedrooms.
The balance has been tipped too far toward ubnfettered growth at the expense of peace and quiet.


4 people like this
Posted by Fed Up
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Don’t forget the two-thirds rule in Prop 13. It says that special taxes and bonds require 2/3 voter approval. The exception is school bonds, which almost always pass because they’re “for the children” – in spite of the fact that some districts don’t even itemize what the bond money will be spent for.


2 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Chris is a registered user.

@mvresident2003 and other who are not understanding Housing Crisis

Yes the crisis you have stated are crisis-es. While we can waste time making comparison of the validity of our housing crisis in the Silicon Valley or we can come to terms with our reality. I submit that the following information towards solutions and action are an excellent place to join in the conversation that is currently moving forward. Please consider listening and being a part of the solution.
2016 State of the Valley Conference:
Henry Cisneros Keynote Speech
Web Link

Is Silicon Valley Fulfilling Its Function To Being a Place Where People Can Live?
A. I Propose Our Answer Must Contain 6 Irrefutable Inadequacies
1) Here there is insufficient supply of housing, a truth
2) Here there is insufficient new development of housing, a truth
3) Here there is lack of resources being dedicated to the problem
4) Here land restrictions make building new housing almost impossible
5) Here, political and public reluctance makes it difficult to build new housing
6) Unaffordability for the workforce is a serious fact of life
B. Clearly there is work to be done. As a start that work requires:
1) Forethought and intentionality
2) Collaboration unity of action
3) Advocacy, the focus on the human side of the problem
4) Investment by the public sector
5) Unprecedented level of partnership of public and private sector


2 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Chris is a registered user.

@mvresident2003 and others who are not understanding Housing Crisis

Yes the crisis you have stated are crisis-es. While we can waste time making comparison of the validity of our housing crisis in the Silicon Valley or we can come to terms with our reality. I submit that the following information towards solutions and action are an excellent place to join in the conversation that is currently moving forward. Please consider listening and being a part of the solution.
2016 State of the Valley Conference:
Henry Cisneros Keynote Speech
Web Link

Is Silicon Valley Fulfilling Its Function To Being a Place Where People Can Live?
A. I Propose Our Answer Must Contain 6 Irrefutable Inadequacies
1) Here there is insufficient supply of housing, a truth
2) Here there is insufficient new development of housing, a truth
3) Here there is lack of resources being dedicated to the problem
4) Here land restrictions make building new housing almost impossible
5) Here, political and public reluctance makes it difficult to build new housing
6) Unaffordability for the workforce is a serious fact of life
B. Clearly there is work to be done. As a start that work requires:
1) Forethought and intentionality
2) Collaboration unity of action
3) Advocacy, the focus on the human side of the problem
4) Investment by the public sector
5) Unprecedented level of partnership of public and private sector


2 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Chris is a registered user.

@mvresident2003 and others who are not understanding Housing Crisis

Yes the crisis you have stated are crisis-es. While we can waste time making comparison of the validity of our housing crisis in the Silicon Valley or we can come to terms with our reality. I submit that the following information towards solutions and action are an excellent place to join in the conversation that is currently moving forward. Please consider listening and being a part of the solution.

2016 State of the Valley Conference:
Henry Cisneros Keynote Speech
Web Link

Is Silicon Valley Fulfilling Its Function To Being a Place Where People Can Live?
A. I Propose Our Answer Must Contain 6 Irrefutable Inadequacies
1) Here there is insufficient supply of housing, a truth
2) Here there is insufficient new development of housing, a truth
3) Here there is lack of resources being dedicated to the problem
4) Here land restrictions make building new housing almost impossible
5) Here, political and public reluctance makes it difficult to build new housing
6) Unaffordability for the workforce is a serious fact of life
B. Clearly there is work to be done. As a start that work requires:
1) Forethought and intentionality
2) Collaboration unity of action
3) Advocacy, the focus on the human side of the problem
4) Investment by the public sector
5) Unprecedented level of partnership of public and private sector


2 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 2, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Chris is a registered user.

Here are some additional resources that are addressing the Silicon Valley Housing Crisis.
Web Link
At the top of the SV@Home’s list is to build more housing, pretty much in any way possible. Their strategy boiled down to “land, money and changing the conversation on housing,” said SV@Home Executive Director Leslye Corsiglia.

“This really is the need to deal with a lack of housing supply for all people, whether they live on the street or work for our highest-paying employers,” she said.

Described as the South Bay’s first advocacy group focused solely on housing, SV@Home is joining the political discussion at a particularly challenging time. With a transportation tax already expected for the November ballot, county supervisors are also investigating bringing a $750 million bond measure to voters to pay for a spree of new affordable housing. Corsiglia said her new advocacy group could serve a powerful role by helping push that measure as well as encouraging the various South Bay cities to also do their part.

Web Link


Bridge Housing Web Link
Web Link
UC Berkeley students win 1st place in affordable housing contest by BY VERA ESAIL | STAFF
A team of UC Berkeley students won first place in this year’s Low-Income Housing Challenge — a contest hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch— for its affordable housing complex proposal that could potentially be built in Oakland.
Web Link
Community Planning Reports
The professional planning reports available below are the result of collaborative efforts led by students of the Master of Urban Planning program at San José State University who have engaged with communities, policy makers, community-benefit organizations, and city agencies in addressing critical questions about the future of our urban region. Over 900 students have been trained in participatory planning practices. More than 4,500 community members have interacted directly with university students and faculty in community-based initiatives. Participating communities have received in excess of $31 million in public funds to implement the projects identified in the plans. Moreover, the San José State University’s long-term commitment to working with local communities has facilitated the development of trust and strong ties among all stakeholders.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi




Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


To post your comment, please login or register at the top of the page. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

Vina Enoteca to serve first 'Impossible burger' in Silicon Valley
By Elena Kadvany | 15 comments | 3,312 views

Coupon for Yourself and Your Partner
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 574 views

 

2017 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The 2017 Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here