San Francisco Board of Supervisors rules that if you're rich enough to own a private sidewalk, you don't have to worry about overdue taxes


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/29/a-pox-on-all-their-sidewalks.html


Update: Wealthy SF homeowners get their street back
#2

How many years of grumbling about having to pay those ruinous taxes before they accidentally forget to send in a contact address change, again?

One?

I find it hard to believe that their previous accountant didn’t make some attempt to put the city and the association in touch with each other, unless he was told not to by Benjamins.

So… They paid all the back taxes due, right? (Two days until WaPo gives me a day or two of access.)


#3

Apparently the price for seven members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is less than $12,871 a head.

I wonder if they stay bought.


#4

Open it in a private window. That seems to work for me.


#5

Here’s the kicker…according the the article, the annual tax bill for these wealthy residents is/was $14 annually.

Fourteen. Bucks. A. Year.


#6

Schadenfreude may be fun, but the treasurer’s idea of adequate notice is running an ad in the SF Examiner (free newspaper that is not worth the toilet paper it is printed on) and a posting on his website. Must have gone to the Vogon school of public management


#7

Your browser’s porno mode (Private/Incognito/InPrivate/etc) is a great workaround for WaPo’s imposed article limits.


#8

The dumb bit was that they sold it for only 90k, and that the taxes are stupidly low (prop 13 i guess…).

Should repoed it, then sold it back to them for a few million, and reset the tax base.


#9

I find the weird 1948 commentary to be thrown in apropos of nothing; It was almost 70 years ago. Hold them accountable for things they’re doing now, not things that probably no current homeowner living ever did.


#10

On the other hand the WaPo is doing rather a grand job of holding those in power to account and it might be worth giving them some money for the work they do.

Democracy dies in darkness and so on!


#11

The point is that these rich assholes are getting special treatment. Irrespective of how poorly the treasurer does their job, this is stark corruption.

The rich assholes aren’t even the problem. The problem is public officials willing to give the rich special treatment in a city known for its staggering wealth inequality.


#12

The speculators are POC. The implication is that the court would have dealt differently if the new owners were of the same class / race as the residents. The US justice system is not known for its colour blindness… Context …


#13

I think it’s a poorly made point that brings up specters of other issues; let’s note that the speculators are Asian and in the current business climate of the west coast, Asians are not a disenfranchised group in the way that Black or Hispanic people have and do struggle.

In the 40s? Sure. Today, when discussing economic disparity? I don’t think it’s a relevant point. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income (I tried dragging up the census results directly but couldn’t figure out the website, it cites directly from there)

Edit: To avoid the often cited ‘oh so there’s no racism against Asians’ argument, my point is that lumping everyone who isn’t white together as POC and then discussing racism is a non-useful way of discussing it. If the speculators were Black in this case, I think it’d be more relevant. Similarly, if discussing a history of slavery in the Caribbean, it would be non-useful to discuss a bunch of Asian groups. The way that individual groups are disenfranchised differs greatly, but think how much weirder and less compelling those lines in the piece are if POC is replaced by Asian.


#14

point well made. thank you.


#15

Have you advised the authorities of any change of your of IP address so they know where to send the tax bill for that private window? :wink:


#17

That the buyers are POC does not imply that this is a relevant point exactly the same way that the buyers could all be right-handed without it being a case of discrimination against lefties.
The only thing that adding the 1948 reference does is prove either that for Corey, everything must be racist or that he has no consideration for logic when making his arguments.


#18

The owners were clearly going to contest the legality of the seizure and may well have won. Clearly, going to court over a $14 tax debt is disproportionate and an extremely poor use of our tax money.


#19

Personally, there is almost nothing you could add to make me feel sorry for speculators.


#20

I don’t find any sympathetic characters in this story: the inept bungling of the county tax office, squandering taxpayer dollars over this foolishness; the wealthy tax-dodging owners; the property speculators.

All this story is missing are some pharmaceutical reps and a whaling ship.


#21

Precedent has now been set that you can void a tax auction if you, personally, make a mistake in notifying them of an address change, and someone else buys the property.

I’m predicting that this will come back to bite them within a few years.