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Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Everybody pays the same percentage rate. How is this not fair? People purchasing expensive real estate pay more total dollars than those paying less expensive homes.

The city of San Francisco should not be held as a model for anything, let alone a housing transfer tax. How much market rate housing is available in San Francisco for someone of modest or middle class means able to buy? Nearly half of the city's civil servants live in the East Bay. It's a crummy idea.

Perhaps if Dan Kalb and the other elected and appointed officials of Oakland better forecasted and spent their current revenues more effectively than as practiced, a solution to soak the people who've invested in Oakland would not be thought credible. Solution- build and remodel housing with less local restrictions. A San Francisco solution? No thanks.

Michael

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 10/05/2017 at 6:24 PM

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

What he proposes, autonomous devices to hunt and kill our "enemies" is in fact the premise of the first "Terminator" movie. Truth is stranger than fiction. The total and staggering immorality of this leaves question as to whether Yoo is in fact a human, or a cyborg.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 11:14 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

"The past is the past." So it is but if the past is not corrected it will become the future. This is the philosophy of corruption. No, the past must be corrected so that we can move forward.

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 10/05/2017 at 11:13 AM

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

Yoo is a truly disgusting human being.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 10:21 AM

Re: “Another Unnecessary Sports Expense

Oakland has a long history of giving away public money to sports teams. Thank God the teams are leaving the Coliseum! One day the city will have no sports teams that the voters are forced to finance, and the money can be spent on education and housing. Not overpaid millionaires and billionaires.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 8:39 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

Wonderful. We are finally rid of Henderson's incredibly expensive auto da fe of self flagellation of the OPD. This is correct. Move on. It's good to get away from the endless cycle of Burris/Henderson mandated cash payouts.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 8:36 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

The simple truth is that Oakland officials will spend every penny of budget they get, and then borrow for more. It doesn't matter what the numbers are. They City is horribly in debt and getting worse, and this is just ignored, and instead we get pleas for more taxes. Cut spending, folks. Reduce those sweet union deals, take away the free tickets the council members get from sports teams and sell them, stop paying overtime and double time to the police and raise the department size. Learn to not spend. I know it's hard.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 8:32 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Time for a crackdown on the EB-5 visa program that Jerry Brown turned into a criminal enterprise.
Make the people who have been "land-banking" put the properties on the market and stop catering to developers and labor unions who are against modular homes and other innovations.....
Regards, Allen Sanford
https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateFraudOr…

Posted by Allen Sanford on 10/05/2017 at 7:25 AM

Re: “Project Censored

An investigation should be conducted into how Jerry Brown turned the EB-5 visa program into a criminal enterprise which resulted in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire and the fire on San Pablo....
Regards, Allen Sanford
https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateFraudOr…

Posted by Allen Sanford on 10/05/2017 at 7:14 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

...And on the streets, there is NO law.

As on October 4, 2017, in the past 48 hours 3 dead on International Blvd.

Somehow EBX and the "thriving, vibrant community of Oakalnd" doesn't see any of that.

BAH!

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/04/2017 at 11:14 PM

Re: “Project Censored

Can we get a list of local underreported stories?

Posted by Mike Hutchinson on 10/04/2017 at 1:03 PM

Re: “When Private Patrols Pull The Trigger

They don't allow Californians to arm themselves and now you want to punish the paid guards that were brought to protect the people of this neighborhood. What is this criminal entered a home with an infant and mother? who knows what would happen. I for one applaud this guard. We need to wake up and stop portraying criminals as the victims!

Posted by N F on 10/04/2017 at 12:18 PM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

The message sent is that low and high-ranking officials are above the law, while the rest of us are beholden to it, often with our lives. the new OPD chief needs to be fired. What a travesty.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 10/04/2017 at 11:46 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

As is often the case with ethical, but also essentially political, public matters in Oakland, a little context can help to clarify.

OPD is mostly treated, by media and by our political establishment, as a somehow separate entity from city government as a whole. Not so: OPD is legally and ethically an integral part of the administrative structure of Oakland. Mayor, administrators, Council are responsible for OPD policy, behavior and performance regarding public safety.

OPD is certainly not hands-off territory for the rest of civic government.

Mayor and Council have the essential responsibility for establishing public safety policy and ethical and other aspects of performance. This means, one would think, the creation of a comprehensive public safety plan with specific policies to put the plan into action. Policies should also incorporate, as a minimum, regular data collection regarding public safety performance for both crime reduction and ethical standards.

Oakland has had policies since at least the early 2000s that mandate community policing including its regular review and improvement. Needless to point out that these mandates have never been implemented fully. There has been only tokenism. The result has been that OPD does not know how to intervene to reduce violent crime because Oakland's community as a whole is not a functioning part of OPDs street knowledge.

Before getting further into whats wrong (or right as the case may be) about OPD, we need to remember that its not just OPD alone; its OPD, Mayor, City Administration, City Council. All one government.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/04/2017 at 11:05 AM

Re: “Project Censored

I started reporting on the threat of antibiotic resistance and the political climate around it as early as 2008.

Posted by citizenkrans on 10/04/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

Ya know... I just LOVE the baseless and inflammatory speculation this publication seems to delight in publishing:

"It's not entirely clear why Orrick decided to end the Guap matter. It's possible that at his first hearing, he didn't want to embarrass both Kirkpatrick and Warshaw for approving the promotions."

If you don't know and can't point to something... ANYTHING... concrete, don't say it.

I'll be the first to say the whole thing reeks and has from the beginning... City Council, Police, attorneys and EBX.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/03/2017 at 11:06 PM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

The split isn't invariant... It's part of the contract. There shouldn't be an issue if two (or more entities) chose to split how a fee is paid as the author states.

That said, this is part an parcel of the mess made of state and local finances by prop 13.

While the proposal seems as at least a partial solution, I'm especially troubled by

"Although Kalb hasn't proposed a specific plan yet..."

The devil is ALWAYS in the details and suddenly this looks more like a grandstand statement from a politician, prematurely reported, than a real solution.

I'm of the opinion that far more could be done by devising better transfer rules for commercial property. I'd like to note that while San Francisco is being held up as a leader in this area, even they haven't solved the "creative" deal structuring that causes commercial property transfers to result in flat tax revenues and billions lost to the public coffers... while lawyers and corporations enrich themselves at the expense of the public.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/03/2017 at 10:57 PM

Re: “Project Censored

Apparently Random Length News is unaware of lengthy and in-depth articles and series on these very coverage of most of these topics by:

The New Republic

Mother Jones News

The Atlantic

and last but far from least,

The Prospect.

EBX is now going outside it's own ranks for poor journalism and research.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/03/2017 at 10:41 PM

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

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