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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Much depends on the details. For example how would this be applied to the sale of multi-unit rental, residential and commercial? There are different economic, equity, social policy effects from imposing a higher rate on a $100 Million sale of a residential building with 100 units that are valued at 1Mill each vs the sale of a mansion for $100 Million.

Not clear to me that raising the transfer tax won't raise rents and housing prices.

There is also the same equity that exists with any tax based on gross sales, whether it be our regular business tax or the transfer tax on real estate gross sales price: the selling price (gross business receipts) bears 0 correlation with the profit made by the seller. California cities are forbidden by state law to impose any kind of income tax, so they're stuck raising revenue with various kinds of sales taxes, fees, and parcel taxes.

Another problem is the extremely cyclical pattern of transfer taxes and the historically proven inability of Oakland elected officials to budget for more than a couple of years at a time. They basically do "checkbook balance" budgeting: if they have the money in the short term, they'll commit to long-term costs that could seriously harm paying for critical services when the real estate cycle turns down. A graduated transfer tax should be part of a charter measure mandating long-term budgeting and much higher rainy day reserves, backed up by an independent budget analyst such as SF has. and Councilmember Guillen proposed.

Posted by Len Raphael on 10/03/2017 at 9:06 PM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

Ah yes, its always people of affluence that are at fault. Never mind the folks who have frittered their lives away living on the dole and just wanting more and more free stuff because its the rich that cause all their problems. What a bunch of nonsense! And Lynita is just the type of person we would all enjoy having living next to us....can I borrow a cup of sugar and will you pay for my rent?!

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 09/30/2017 at 8:55 AM

Re: “UC Berkeley Professor Calls for Speeding Up the Drone Arms Race

John Yoo should be in a prison for the mentally deranged. What a sick mind.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 09/27/2017 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Living Downstairs, or Lying?: Advocates Say Oakland Landlords Pretending to Reside in Apartments so as to Evict Tenants

The article states- he and his wife clean houses for a living. Then the article states he is on disability. He appears to switch stories around. Of course the property owner wants to patch instead of replace the gutters when he is getting below market rent. Everyone wants affordable housing and who is going to pay for it?

Posted by Really! on 09/24/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

The City of Oakland has hundreds of units such as this in the city, but refuses to press the court to enact the "El Chapo Bill", which was proposed by Ted Cruz, to force Wells Fargo to repair, subsidize or construct, affordable housing in the city and county.
Oakland has had Wells in court for over two years and has yet to set a dollar amount to settle the predatory lending case that is pending. Why?
The reason why, is because putting pressure on the court to make Wells give up the $378 billion that the bank generated during it's relationship with El Chapo, would reveal that as Attorney General, Jerry Brown facilitated the criminal activities of the banks, the lawyers who stole homes from people in California as well as, the drug gangs, that made El Chapo rich.
Read, https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateFraudOr…
My name is Allen Sanford

Posted by Allen Sanford on 09/21/2017 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

Sometimes, and sadly, even in 2017(!) we have to just pull these "offenders" (I'm trying to be nice) OUT! That means tail (follow) them, embarrass them in public, picket the properties-even their own homes,
I don't say this lightly, I have done so myself. It is a sorrowful thing to have to realize in life (but you MUST in order to survive in the long run) that there are people who are just -as my grandpa-and maybe yours too, said-"not even worth killin'". Sounds like this man, Brumbaugh.
All I know is, if I lived there-or my daddy or mama lived there-it'd be Hell to pay, Mr. Brumbaugh. Sometimes we just can't leave retribution to the Lord.

Posted by Lynita Otero on 09/20/2017 at 3:41 PM

Re: “Getting Rich Off Low-Income Housing

OK, questions not answered and seemingly not asked (what else is new with this writer?): How long has this been going on? What steps has the city taken in that time? This development didn't fall into this state is a few days or weeks. What city agency fell down on the job? Has the city contacted the state? Non-profits (and not for profits) ARE regulated at the state level. I noticed a local church is affiliated with this non-profit; Is this the reason the city hasn't taken action?

The fact that owner of the construction companies(s) lives a luxurious life is NOT really relevant to the on-going operation and management of the facility... Especially given that, per the article, he has no apparently active role with the organization.

More fire fanning, half written tripe from an "award winning" writer.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 09/20/2017 at 5:38 AM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Our property management company, Mann Edge (they also own Friendly Cab taxi co), tried to pull this shit on our ghetto apartment building last year. They are like a bargain basement version of JDW, it sounds like. This whole building is falling apart in so many ways. Any repairs or renewals have been done in the cheapest and shoddiest manner possible. We went to a free legal tenant workshop for info and they explained this ridiculous loophole to us. They told us that the work done to the apartments would have to be pretty major to allow them to do this. I was very nervous. Thank goodness our slumlords were not prepared to spend any actual money on their attempt to exempt the building. We got another notice saying they had cancelled their exemption request. This place has bed bugs, for crying out loud (not my apartment, thankfully!)

Posted by Michelle Castro on 09/18/2017 at 2:29 AM

Re: “Turmoil Returns for Charter Schools

American Indian Public High is able to manipulate their test scores by essentially shedding the students it doesn't want. Other charters do this to game the system, but American Indian is one of the worst offenders. Between grades 9 and 12, more than half of the students leave the school. The school then uses the remaining 12th grade cohort to derive all of their manipulated statistics, such as test scores and graduation rates. The reality is that the school chooses the students, not the other way around.

Posted by Oakland_mom on 09/15/2017 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Report: Berkeley Police Six-Times More Likely to Use Force Against Black People

Has anyone studied how much more likely black people are to use force against the police ? I see bias here. Lovelle Mixon left a nasty legacy and he sure as hell was not the only one.

Posted by Kevin Smith on 09/15/2017 at 8:57 AM

Re: “Turmoil Returns for Charter Schools

American Indian teaches to the tests, that is how they get high test scores. Students do not have a life like rich kids in better neighbor hoods, its home work on weekends , holidays and summer. No LIFE. how do i know, they advised COVA charter school how to raise their test scores and my daughter suffered for a year of that!!!

Posted by marlese carroll on 09/14/2017 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Long-term, low and especially fixed income renters need some form of protection, absolutely. But flat or 1% increased rent is unreasonable.

Inflation is more than that. On top of inflation, landlords' expenses often increase more than 1% a year, particularly as old buildings age and require expensive maintenance and renovation. And property taxes in Oakland are out of control (with nearly no exemption for owner occupied, but that's another story...!). Renters who pay less in real dollars each year for an apartment...that's a reason there's so much housing deterioration in Oakland.

Should a building be permanently exempted due to substantial renovation? No--"permanent" is surprising. But I urge us to be careful thinking that all rent control is good.

What happens under draconian rent control laws is that Landlords turn to AirBnb and developers don't want to invest in new housing. Overreaching rent control laws directly contribute to a housing shortage, particularly new affordable housing. We should strive for a balance, and it's not one that assumes "landlords are all evil and have really low expenses". We should try create incentives for landlords to invest in housing while not pricing existing renters out of their homes.

Posted by Jsborn on 09/14/2017 at 8:49 AM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Landlords can get away with pretty much anything in Oakland because there are no building inspections.
The Auditor for the City of Oakland didn't even know that the Ghost Ship warehouse existed.
The EB-5 visa program has been turned into a criminal enterprise. foreign investors have been allowed to "land-bank" properties keeping them off of the market for decades and then raising the rents to astronomical levels when they do put them on the market.
However, these landlords are in for a rude awakening when these tech companies begin to lay people off, which is starting now.
These investors are going to find themselves stuck to a "tar baby", the rents and home prices are not sustainable!
I'm Allen Sanford, read my Facebook pages...
https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateFraudOr…

Posted by Allen Sanford on 09/14/2017 at 7:47 AM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

Also any of the insane amount of JDW tenets dealing with this: get a lawyer. JDW most likely doesn't have their shit together and is counting on you fighting it. Fight that shit. Fuck them. There are a lot of amazing free/lost cost services and housing rights groups that are filled with angels.

Posted by FuckJDWFuckLinMyer on 09/14/2017 at 1:51 AM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

As a former JDW tenant for 5+ years I can attest to the horrible way this company is managed. We went through this entire process with them and it was terrible. I ended up leaving the property because of not wanting to live in fear of loosing my housing daily. We eventually won the case because the evidence they gave was complete bullshit and just moving money around randomly. None of it was solid payments to a company outside of themselves (side angry note- how the hell are they even company/trying to pull this? They have no well kept records and their office must just be a chicken in a room with square of actions/addresses and whatever square the chicken shits in is what they do because honest to god that is the only way I can make sense of why they do what they do). We were really lucky (and big shout out to Centro De Legal as they are amazing angels) to win because from what we learned going through it it is often not the case. It comes down to an exact calculation of numbers and that is it. Most often as the above examples used are complete bullshit and not what the law was originally intended for. We learned of one case of a multi unit building that the landlord was living in one of the units. The landlord did work on ONLY his unit and managed to get the entire building exempt from rent control due to the "substation rehabilitation". This law does nothing to ensure the entire property is rehabilitated. Mostly it seems as a way for landlords to get out of rent control while leaving most residents in substandard or actually dangerous housing situations while they line their pockets. Our pictures of our building falling apart and documents with the maintenance we never received were not used in the trial because that is not way apparently matters. Also during this process we had the extreme displeasure of meeting Justin Walloway in the flesh. He told us rent would be raised in "reasonable amounts". None of that was going to be true/none of it would be guaranteed. When I told him his company was essentially financially evicting people who had lived there he stared at me with cold dead eyes and alluded that he was basically just trying to help us. Not that he was putting almost 20 people's homes in jeopardy. The story above breaks my heart. No person should ever have to face this monster money hungry company. For them to buy her unit and treat her in this way proves the moral backbone of this company. They don't care about people. They don't care about Oakland. It fills me with rage to know what they put her through and what they are putting so many people through. Every dealing I have had with JDW has been terrible. I just deleted the sentences I wrote about the conditions of the house because I don't want to out my prior building and the people living there in fear they will continue to mess with them more. Since we won our case they have showed up on the property with no announcement and are constantly harassing the residents. They have been using every tool they can to force every resident out so they can flip it and charge insane amounts of money. This company is praying on Oakland and is an evil toxic mismanaged horror show to put it lightly. The city of Oakland has let them destroy neighborhoods and residents left and right and should be ashamed. I hope someone from JDW reads this comment and I hope they have to look themselves in the mirror and know they are taking peoples lives from them. That they are ripping a community apart. My friends live in terror every day waiting for the next fight to come to them. Afraid to even report the parts of the building that are falling apart and that are dangerous. JDW should be ashamed of themselves but sadly I feel that day will never come until they take a long hard look at their actions on a beautiful city and not their wallets. Or that city council finally stops doing the same and also starts to give a shit about the people it governs. They are equally responsible for letting this occur and should also be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by FuckJDWFuckLinMyer on 09/14/2017 at 1:24 AM

Re: “Are Foreclosure Cases Rigged?

See SHANTRE V. THOMPSON. Los Angeles Superior Court case GC045358... Homeowner won the property back, and then also won jury verdict on the consolidated UD action... Judge threw out the jury verdict. Gave the house to the purchaser from the fraudulent foreclosure sale, then allowed the cross-complaint to be ammended with Ejectment and kicked out the homeowner...
Yes, the court's are rigged, and judges get bought. This case is a sad abomination of the law and how the court's get bought...

Posted by justicefight on 09/13/2017 at 3:01 PM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

WHATSUPDOC - that is very true, but this article is talking about how these units will be very much over $1371 if they don't have rent control in place. If the rent control exemptions are accepted, all of these units rents will increase by likely around 1k which will make them "market value" in 2017 Oakland. Quite a sudden and massive increase when you've been paying around the same for the past 4 years. I think most people would find this ridiculous.

Posted by ritualascension on 09/13/2017 at 12:38 PM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

1371 is a very reasonable value for an apartment in Oakland, you're not wrong whatsupdoc - but market value now is about 2371, which is an unfair and very sudden increase if you've been at an apartment with rent control for multiple years. This is what is going on with these units, we're not talking about the rent being increased $50 this coming January, it will increase by likely around a $1000.

Posted by ritualascension on 09/13/2017 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Eric Swalwell and Pay to Play

http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/09/07/prominent-dublin-developer-slapped-with-federal-charges-again/

Posted by kmc on 09/13/2017 at 11:32 AM

Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

1371 is completely reasonable and well below market rate for an apartment.

Posted by whatsupdoc on 09/13/2017 at 10:53 AM

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