« Self-aggrandizing Housing Advocates | Main | Caltrans to the Rescue on ECR »

October 09, 2019



AirBnB and VRBO are having keggers today in the office.

You suck

As if you expect us to believe that you care anything about renters.

Paloma Ave

But Joe, don't you realize that democrats, liberals, progressives, socialists and communists are just looking out for our best interests? (I have heard that sarcasm doesn't always translate in the written word).


I'm just reading the tea leaves coming out of Berkeley and Sacramento. Whether I care or not is irrelevant. The question Mr. Sucker needs to ask is do his "advocates" care? If they do they are just misguided. If not, then they are just self-aggrandizing in hopes of future payoff. You're screwed either way ;-(

Barking Dog

The split roll will put a lot of vacancy signs in windows. Probably for sale signs too from generational owners of the commercial property as they will take their money and invest in more tax friendly states, where they can get more square footage with the same return.

Split roll and the City of SSF Mobility 20/20 plan, will kill light industrial east of 101 in my opinion. Which maybe exactly what the city wants to accommodate Genentech(who plans to build more and add 11k employees) and the other big biotech firms in the area. Tenants with long term AIR commercial leases are going to get hammered hard with CAM increases from the landlords. SSF is getting farther and farther away from its Industrial City slogan.


Bruce Dickinson

Folks, you don't need a professor at Berkeley to state such obvious concepts that one would have hoped all have learned in a basic college economics 101 class (or even in high school).

What is not so obvious is that rent control actually drives UP real estate prices, thereby increasing the gap between the have's and have not's. Let me quote one of my all time favorite BV contributors: Bruce Dickinson! That's right, I couldn't have said it better myself than what I stated here a few years ago.


"If Bruce Dickinson were really concerned about economic self-interest I would vote for rent control, as that makes newer rentals more expensive, crowds out single family rentals, thus more people buy houses, resulting in rising owned housing values, and higher incentives to tear down apartment buildings and build new condos/houses. In a few decades, what will be left is a small fraction of long-time renters that get cheap rent at the expense of everyone else. Doesn't sound fair to me and is anti-populist, but what do I know, I'm just a caveman legendary record producer?!!"

So if Joe is really the greedy, self-interested person that You Suck thinks he is, Joe should be PRO rent control!!!!

Serious question, in California, is an economics class a mandatory part of a HS education???

Fugit All

As a lifetime resident of SM and Burlingame and a renter I look forward to knowing the maximum amount my housing costs will increase next year... and the nest.... and the next... just like so many of you who continue to benefit from Prop 13

I love this town and hope every year I will not be priced out. A maximum increase of my rental costs per annum will allow me to calculate just how long I can continue to live, work, and contribute here.

I'm all the time discouraged at the vitriol toward renters on this forum. You assume I'm here to leech off the teat of City Hall and Sacramento. Meanwhile, I can tell you what B-ave looked like in the 80s, 90s, and 00s. I remember Coyote Pt, SFO, downtown SM and SF from the last four decades. I've eaten, shopped, studied, and worked in your town for dozens of years. I stay because I love it here, maybe even more than you do. I simply do not have the capital to invest in property that you do. That does not make me a bad Burlingame resident.

Many of you are property owners and landlords. Perhaps you benefit from Prop 13; you might even be in a position where you would be unable to afford your property were it not for that beneficial piece of legislation. Consider for a moment that you are fortunate to have a surer footing in living here and not that you love this town more than some renter because you sign a check to a mortgage company and not a rental agency.

We are all neighbors.

Barking Dog

So once Prop 13 gets voted out and the rent control issues are in place as some hope, you the renter of many years in Burlingame will have a easier time paying for housing than a property owner in Burlingame who might get pushed out with Prop 13 gone? As Joe states above, Prop 13 in next on the advocates/Dems agenda. Fugit, as a long time renter, you seem to fall in the category that Bruce poetically describes above. Who's the one benefiting now?

Barking Dog

Prop 58 is high on state Dems radar too.

Barking Dog

Joe, nail on head with rental listings being pulled from market.

A family friend, who's family business/ownership has about 120 doors in San Mateo, Burlingame and Millbrae, Just pulled 14 available units off the market. He also told me that every lease is month to month, nothing long term anymore. More economical sense for him to let them sit empty, then putting renter in them at this point in time.

Again, nail on head...Law of Unintended Consequences...nice work

Barking Dog

Resident...nail on head as well.
AirBnB and AirBnB for Work



Sorry wrong link

Bruce Dickinson

Now, Prop 13 is a completely different issue, one that also interferes with the turnover and market clearing price of real estate. Prop 13 is a subsidy given to long-time owners of houses, and the subsidy increases the more real estate values go up.

If your property goes up in value by 8% a year, but your property taxes only go up by a capped rate of 2%, those buying houses in future years are paying far higher taxes than those grandfathered in when they bought real estate at lower valuations. Again, the effect is older housing not getting rebuilt or turning over as quickly (because moving would result in much higher taxes on the new house), thereby limiting ove all supply of houses....this pushes house prices up! Now if everyone paid the exact same property tax rate on the fair market value of a house, owning houses for a large part of the population would become extremely expensive/untenable, which would probably increase people moving to other locations or going to cheaper rental housing, thereby driving real estate prices down.

So here's the Bruce Dickinson zinger: those who are anti-rent control should ALSO be anti-prop 13, as rent control or prop 13 provide massive subsidies to those who have lived in their (rental or owned) property for a long time, at the expense of new/young residents and these policies distort the true market clearing price of real estate. New families or people moving to California are at a huge disadvantage versus those who were lucky and were at the right place at the right time.

Just making a point on philosophical consistency as the existing tax regime of Prop 13 is resulting in huge imbalances of tax burden and real estate inflation, much like rent control also results in huge imbalances in rental supply and differential rental rates.

You can't say that Bruce Dickinson doesn't get your noggin's neurons firing, ya know what I mean?!?


@Fugit - "I'm all the time discouraged at the vitriol toward renters on this forum. You assume I'm here to leech off the teat of City Hall and Sacramento.". Wrong! If there is any vitriol towards renters here it is ONLY, SOLELY, those that think someone else should pay a big chunk of their rent.

@BruceD - nice landing, wrong airport. The residential side of Prop 13 is not at issue next year--it's just the commercial side. Now the argument for a "split roll" is investors move out of investment teams without the property turning over this preserving (falsely) the lower basis. But as Barking Dog noted, multi-generational retail space that is forced to turnover with a split roll will drive up retail merchant rents right when that is not tenable. I know that some B'way merchants have been discussing this with trepidation.

Bruce Dickinson

Yes, Joe, I was referring to the residential side of Prop 13 in response to BD's and FugittaboutIt's comments about certain classes of long time homeowners benefiting from perpetually lower property taxes.

A little quick to jump to the gun, Joe? Bruce Dickinson takes it you might be one of those lucky beneficiaries of Prop 13 and seem very keen to defend your personal subsidy under Prop 13! *wink*

I don't blame you, I would gladly be ok with free money just as much as the next guy!


So enlighten me on your wise thoughts about the split roll.

There really are no "lucky beneficiaries" in California when you consider the overall tax take...I mean rate. Unless you are here "Under cover of the night" (a Stones song that should be better regarded IMHO) and are using someone else's SSN - which apparently some judge finds to NOT be illegal -- then the overall take is among the highest in the nation and likely to get worse.

Fugit All

Joe, care to calculate the difference on property taxes for the last 30 year with and without Prop 13 and what that difference might have earned if invested conservatively? Would you still make the argument "there are no 'lucky beneficiaries' in California'?

You and I have been paying the same sales tax and have been subject to the same income tax agendas but we're not on the same planet when it comes to paying for the privilege of paying for housing here. And yet I can practically hear you rubbing your hands together when you gleefully post about how us renters "are screwed" under Newsom's new legislation.

Is that because you see the writing on the wall about Prop 13 despite how much that has benefitted you for so many years? I'm just curious how you are so eager to benefit from and even defend the wildly unequal tax benefits to long-time property owners of this locale but would be so quick to denegrate a similar scheme when offered to residents here?

It all feels like a class issues writ small and it's gross.

Barking Dog

Prop 13 was voted on with about 75% approval.

Prop 13 intentions are from the start were to protect home owners and keeping them in their family home. If I wasnt under prop 13, my property tax yearly would probably be more than what I paid for my house in 1970, based on its market value today. In another post, Joe stated that in Washington, some long time home owners are getting pushed out due to them being reassessed. They cant afford the property taxes on a house they have been in for decades. I forget the points on why this is, but Prop 13 prevented this from happening to lots of homeowners in California.

Prop 13 is now being abused by the heirs of properties. They aren't going back to live in the family home, as Prop 13 was intended to accomplish. The heirs are renting their family homes out and reaping the rewards of the market in California or just using their family homes as 2nd homes.

Yes, I agree there are flaws to Prop 13, but it kept many of homeowners in their homes, who might have been pushed out if they were reassessed annually. It has done it job and protect home owners. I think Prop 58 is hurting the renters, not Prop 13. I'd do think that once the parent/grandparents pass, and the children/grandchildren who are the beneficiary of the property take ownership, the property should be reassessed.

Prop 58 is hurting renters, not Prop 13 IMO.

Barking Dog

Fugit, like it or not, Joe and Bruce are 100% correct, any form of rent control, will drive rental rates up. Eliminating Prop 13, will drive rents up(commercial or residential).
Be careful what you and the other rent control advocates wish for, as you might price yourself out of Burlingame. As Joe states often....Law of Unintended Consequences..

Just Visiting

If helping keep people in their own homes is the reason for Prop 13, then the "split roll" change to it--not protecting commercial properties--shouldn't be an issue. It's been a few years since I last looked at the statistics, but individual homes turn over much faster than commercial property. Commercial property rarely sells, which means that commercial property owners are paying ridiculously low property taxes. That's where the majority of the problem with Prop 13 comes. Moreover, the connection between the property taxes and the rent charged is questionable, as rent is a function of what the market will bear. As a result, many landowners have reaped significant increases in rental income without paying increases in property taxes. That's a windfall to the land owner--and it has nothing to do with keeping Joe in his home.

Unfortunately, the professor emeritus at Haas knows a great deal about what he speaks: rent control generally drives up the cost of rentals. For people who want to stay in their rental unit, yes, it helps. But for people who want to move--and the reality is that many people do as life circumstances change--it is a disaster. And for anyone new to the area, it's even worse.

The problem is one of supply: we need more housing stock (the whole Bay Area does). And we need to protect what makes our city special. Balancing those two things is hard, but rent control legislating, including what was just passed in Sacremento, is likely to make the supply problem worse, not better. And like many beneficiaries of Prop 13, those who these laws help (whether they need it or not) will be happy to take the benefits while the system burns around them--and until they want to move and realize they can't.

Barking Dog

I happen to agree with you on the split roll JustV, for the most part.. In full disclosure, my wife is the beneficiary of one such property in San Francisco at this time. But, this is the 1st tenant that has occupied the building, as my father in law ran his business out of the building for 65+yrs. He was an owner/operator. Bought the land, built the building, built the business.

Barking Dog

If the split gets voted in, counties have self admitted they wont be able to handle and process all the properties....and hiring new assessors isnt easy when corporate giants, Apple, etc are hiring and paying more for assessors to fight counties on their property tax bills.



Homeowner's, and their Lobbyist's Basic Political Foundation is based on the perception that Renter's over the age of 40 are loser's. People who have profited from P13 are in their 70's.
Their "Family" retains the P13 benefit, therefore, not paying the fair taxes needed in CA.
There was a need for P13 Forty plus years ago.
Instead we pay $4.50.00 per gallon.

Bruce Dickinson

Joe, as to Bruce Dickinson's wise thoughts on the split roll? Not that I'm preparing a tax plan for the State of California..., let's call it Dickonomics, as it were (*wink*), I think the whole property, sales, gas, and income tax needs a complete overhaul at every level of (state and local) government. I know, it's an impossible task, but these would be my guiding principles:

Restrike Prop 13 (Commercial and Residential) and introduce very gradually a more aggressive property tax increase, but not so much so that it becomes completely untenable for those on fixed incomes. Let's say instead of 2%, make it 3% cap per year phased over 10 years (where it increases by .01% each year from 2% to 3%), a tax credit for retirees on their property tax bill based on income, a large reduction in income tax for the middle and lower classes, reductions in gasoline tax and sales tax (these two can be very regressive). I would also enable some recapture of re-assessed values when property changes hands due to death of parents--there's no reason why being born in the right womb should give you more of a tax shelter more than anyone else.

Would have to pencil out the numbers, but any increase in projected property taxes should be offset by tax reductions in the other areas I mentioned with more aggressive cuts on the sales and gasoline taxes vs the income taxes and keep corporate taxes the same for large companies, but lower them for small businesses. The whole goal would be to capture more money from those who can afford the higher property and income taxes in a progressive fashion.

The problem with just addressing the split roll next year is that California is already VERY business unfriendly, as can be seen by many companies of decent size leaving the State in droves. The only exception is technology, but they already pay some of the lowest taxes due to their operations being overseas (taxed at lower foreign rates) and the tax deductibility of options grants to their employees. Lowering taxes for businesses would really help California's economy to become more diversified rather than focused on a few large industries. So I don't think the split roll is the right thing to do for business and should definitely not be done if companies' State corporate tax bills aren't reduced.

Some pretty good ideas, eh? Wow, come to think of it, maybe I'm Burlingame's version of a "very stable genius"!?!

Paloma Ave

If greedy politicians didn't have an insatiable appetite for more of are money, ALL THE TIME, there would have been no need for Prop 13.

I find it funny that our local politicians make the headlines when they support a proposed tax hike. When have they ever not supported a tax hike?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.