Thought for the day
Alex Creel recently filed a ballot measure to extend Proposition 13 property tax breaks to young people who sell their homes and buy new homes.
Homeowners 55 and older who live in certain counties can already transfer existing property tax rates to a new home of equal or lesser value. This has, to my knowledge, done nothing to help the housing crisis.
Which seems obvious. California has more people who want to live here than dwellings for them to live in. That’s the crisis. Why would shifting people from one California home that already exists to different California home that already exists do much to help with that problem? The big problem shifting people from one California home that already exists to different California home that already exists will solve is real estate agents not making as much money as they’d like. Creel is a lobbyist for the California Assn. of Realtors.
As far as I can tell, the big way Prop 13 fucks with the supply of housing in California is by incentivizing cities to build anything but housing. See yesterday’s post for an example. Why would a new development that’s mostly homes bring $146,000 in tax revenue while a development with fewer homes and more hotel rooms bring in $1.13 million? Because the property tax is much lower than the hotel guest tax thanks to Prop 13.
Cities are already disincentivized to build housing. As the the hotel developer said in the meeting, hotels don’t bring more kids into local schools, people commuting at rush hour, or inconvenience to current residents. But new housing does. Ain’t nobody want that in their backyard.
Dense development is good for the environment. So why does San Francisco’s Sierra Club discourage it?
In related news, the NYT is finally pointing out that downzoning is segregationism by another name.
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