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Transfer taxes are designed to exact revenue on sales of existing houses, and often the new owners pay increased property taxes. Impact fees on new construction are higher to compensate for the increased cost to government of servicing additional residents. Neither form of taxation distorts the housing market.
This is a good piece, but the story is even worse if you talk to the small businesses on the west side of College south of Alcatraz, which are mostly in Oakland. They've been hurting for months because of the construction mess, and of course Safeway doesn't care because they're competition (produce, butcher, florist etc.) And if the city of Berkeley is unable to manage the effect of a really small project like Safeway, just imagine how many thousands of times worse things will be in downtown Berkeley if theyre going to allow speculators to build 3 huge highrises, each 18-stories or so, at the same time, as seems to be inevitable.
What Christina is referring to, which your guy Bert seems not to have found, is this sentence in a story which appeared in the 10/8 issue with no byline that I could see: "But we strongly oppose candidate Jacquelyn McCormick, because she backs Measure R and is the most conservative candidate running for Berkeley City Council this year. " That's just a flat lie. Michael Cohen and Linda Maio are both more conservative, as is Sean Barry, the Blue Shield spokesmodel who ran again Kriss Worthington. Maio supported the anti-homeless Sit-Lie ordinance, which voters defeated. I know that the editor of the Express is goo-goo for any and all developers, but those who disagree with him about Measure R are not conservatives, they're liberals who don't agree with him.
The previous comment about the folly of calling Jacquelyn McCormick the most conservative candidate in Berkeley's District 8 is right on the money, as proved by McCormick coming in last in what is the most conservative council district. And there's little difference on a progressive/liberal/moderate/conservative spectrum between George Beier and Lori Droste, proven by the virtual tie between the two. Her personality is a bit warmer perhaps, but that's not a political difference, and George was moved into District 8 against his will by Mayor Tom Bates' unsuccessful attempt to gerrymander his progressive critic Kriss Worthington out of office in District 7. Bates' candidate in District 8 was actually the most conservative, Michael Cohen, and he lost. I'm awfully bored by the tone-deaf Robert Gammon pontificating about things in Berkeley he knows very little about.
"appears to conflict with a measure adopted by Berkeley voters in 2010 that sought to increase density in the city’s downtown area." ??? Appears to whom? It's actually an explicit implementation of evironmental reforms the 2010 measure promised in a general way but never delivered.
Keep Gammon away from that Koolaid! Can he provide cites to any "current research on climate change" which proves that building apartments will prevent people from buying homes in the suburbs? Can he tell us exactly which "research shows that residents of Manhattan have a much smaller carbon footprint than the average American?" Does this include the second and third homes of the increasingly 1% Manhattanites? Making our cities unpleasant, cutting off light and air and paving over open space, will just drive people, especially those who have families, farther out. Jerry Brown's original plan to gut CEQA has been opposed by both labor and environmentalists, and Steinberg's version is almost as bad.
Always watch the weasel words: ballot measures typically give with one hand and take away with the other, as this one does.
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