Here are your new prices:
And what’s the deal – they didn’t pay taxes on the fleet of boats, so the people who rent the boats pay sales tax to make up for that, bit by bit, over the decades? OK fine. Can’t say that I understand this.
Here’s the latest from America’s Slowest Big-City Transit System:
1. Leave us begin:
“We’re making changes to Muni fares…”
No MUNI, no! Just say “INCREASE,” MUNI! Say it, say it, oh, ohhh!
Now, what would a normal person say? How about something like this:
2. So, here’s another way of saying increase:
“Starting January 1, 2017, single-trip Muni fares paid with Clipper or MuniMobile will cost 25 cents less than fares paid with cash…”
Hey, SFMTA! Why not just keep fares the same and offer a 25-cent discount for using Clipper or whatever? Wouldn’t that be better? And wouldn’t that be more “equitable?” Oh, what’s that, SFMTA, you need more and more and more money to pay for all the mistakes you’ve made over the years and to pay for an expanding crew of highly compensated (indeed – just look at the TCOE (Total Cost Of Employment)) “media relations” staffers and to pay, effectively, for all of our SFMTA’s unique-to-the-world “work rules” what have accumulated over, what, the past century?
3. Now here’s a puzzler:
“We’ll start with … Providing Clipper Cards without the $3 purchase fee*…”
You’d think the asterix would lead to something else on the page, but it don’t. Oh well!
4. And here’s another impossible goal promised by our SFMTA
“…ensure everyone knows how to get a Clipper Card…”
I’ll tell you, I don’t know how to get a Clipper Card right now. I’m sure I could figure it out, but I’ve never had a reason to get one, oh well. Of course IRL what’s going to happen is that a lot of people will end up paying the 25 cents more. Our SFMTA knows this, but doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge it.
“…making Muni a faster, more reliable system…”
How about instead, “Making MUNI a less slow, less unreliable system,” you know, instead?
6. And what’s this?
“Comments for this thread are now closed.”
Well, why’s that, SFMTA? [UPDATE: Comments are now enabled at the SFMTA website. Hurrah.]
Anyway, as always, our SFMTA is run primarily for the benefit of … those who are employed by the SFMTA. Cest la vie, Mon Amie. But, man, it’d sure be nice if our SFMTA could correctly identify Yet Another Fare Increase as such. Oh well.
Here’s the question, from the new NEw MArket Building on Market in our Twitterloin / Mid-Market /South of Market / Tenderloin Adjacent area, you know, The City Part of Town:
And here’s the answer – like this, via The Lofts at SoDoSoPa:
And here’s your catchphrase:
NeMa: 24 months old and still no rent control.**
* NEW YORK TIMES: The prospective changes to the Tenderloin — a noirish haunt of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and arguably the central city’s last working-class neighborhood — have given rise to a new nickname: the Twitterloin.
* FORTUNE: Welcome to the Twitterloin, where tech-savvy cool meets gritty hood
**After 10 months of living in the NeMa, you just might ask yourself why you’re getting hit with a rent increase what’s 25 times more than most of your coworkers are facing, just saying…
Sam Whiting explains here in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Mmmm, no comments? Perhaps this attempt at a paywall is working too well.
But all right, here’s the SFGate version – surely the rabble will chirp up with comments like, “Well, what’s the rent?” Or maybe, “Smallest Studio in the Twitterloin, 0 bdrms, o bths, reclaimed wood?”
Nope. Just one comment. This is the least amount of NEMA-mocking I’ve ever seen, when the topic of the NEMA is raised:
“So, if Studio One were to break down, would it be NEMA-towed?”
Get it? Nematode – cause like “worms,” right? (Oh, I don’t get it, oh well.)
Hey, speaking of NeMA, there’s still no rent control there, so giant rent hikes are coming your way. It will happen like this:
“We looked at what we’re charging for new rents and what the rent trends are in the market. We came up with the following renewal offer by lease terms…”
And then BAM! You get hit with a 24% (or whatever) rent increase (on top of an already high rent) after just one year. Speaking of which, here’s what one Yelper recently had to say about the NEMA. So many details!
I’ll tell you, lots of SF newcomers move into buildings without knowing that rent control won’t apply to them. And they don’t know the first thing about rental deposit refunds until they hit for charges that they don’t have to pay and that they shouldn’t pay. IMO.
And I’ll tell you, I don’t work for SFGov, so it’s not my job to “activate” the “New Market” “Streetscape” with umpty-up art displays. IMO. SFGov should focus on the basics.
Here’s what kicked things off:
Now I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t even dream of mentioning slight errors such as these to our touchy, touchy local press corpus. I mean, if they liked numbers, they’d have gone to bidness school and gotten an MBA, right?
“Math factcheck please: What is the % increase from 2145 to 8900?”
Well, let’s fix this sitch once and for all:
IMO, people oughtta say “a big increase” if that’s what they mean – there’s no reason to be so precise if you’re going to get it wrong, right?
So yeah, I think I know what you mean when you urbanists tell me, “Young people aren’t driving anymore,” or “Young people don’t even want a driver license anymore.”
And you urbanists are telling me that the Great Recession has nothing to do with the decrease in the growth of driving, well that’s turning out to be wrong as well.
Who knows what the future will bring, is what I’m saying.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Contact: Doug Hecox
U.S. Driving at Highest Level Since 2007, New Data Show – Nearly Three Trillion Miles Traveled in 2013 Underscores Call for Greater Transportation Investment
WASHINGTON – New data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that Americans drove nearly 3 trillion miles in 2013, the highest level in six years, confirming estimates released last year and supporting calls for greater investment in roads, bridges, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to accommodate growing traffic volumes…
“According to FHWA’s “Highway Statistics,” an annual compilation of data from state Departments of Transportation, drivers traveled 2.99 trillion miles in 2013, the highest annual total since 2007 and the fourth-highest since such recordkeeping began in 1936.
The new data also show the number of U.S. vehicles increased to 255.9 million from 253.6 million the previous year, the biggest single-year increase since 2011…
Or not. It’s hard to say how much rent control would benefit you next year once your lease is up.
But these days, there’s a ton of SF newcomers who are just figuring out the big benefit of RC.
“Unfortunately most residents can’t afford to stay longer that 1 year. We’ve been living at Argenta for 10 months and have been very happy with the apartment. But we began to suspect that things weren’t quite right with management shortly after moving in. People we met in the elevator, lobby and our floor were all saying the same thing — rent had been raised to ridiculous heights and they were moving out. Over the last 10 months we have watched many of the tenants on our floor leave because of the rent increase.”
So that’s what you get with your brand-new building – a huge rent increase after your first year.
Generally speaking, older buildings have rent control and newer buildings do not. One exception is federal land, like Treasure Island and The Presidio. In those places, you can live in an older building but still get with huge rent increases.
Of course, it always pays to check.
Here’s a test – can you tell which places are rent controlled?
You see, it’s hard.
It’s on. Here’s Gav’s reply to this recent effort from President Janet Napolitano
***News Release*** – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom statement on the University of California’s threat to increase tuition fees
Contact: Andrea Koskey, Communications Director
“California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement on the University of California’s threat to increase tuition unless the state appropriates additional funds, thereby breaking its two-year old tuition-freeze agreement negotiated in 2013 in exchange for increased state funding:
“The University of California cannot bestow pay raises on its top earners with one hand, while continually taking more from students and their families with the other and deflecting criticism by laying its solution at the door of taxpayers. New funding must be tied to earnest and innovative attempts to reduce the university’s cost structure and promote affordability and accessibility, not threats that reward the status quo.”
The proposed increase to students comes just two months after the same board approved up to 20 percent increases to four chancellors and increased a base salary for a new chancellor by 23 percent of his predecessor. These decisions are not tied to performance or outcomes.
Lieutenant Governor Newsom believes that high-level solutions could be factored in to meet the growing costs. For instance, UC facilities system-wide could save $500,000 per contract if in-house employment was used over outside contractors; another $160 million could be saved if UC offered an Associate Degree to Transfer Program from California Community Colleges, similar to existing program between community colleges and California State Universities; and millions could be saved if the failed IT implementation of UC Path was addressed. That program’s repayment costs have ballooned to $200 million over the next 20 years.
The University of California system has received numerous increases to financial resources including full funding of State’s Cal grant program; expansion of the middle-income fee grants covering one-half of tuition and fee increases for middle-income students from families earning up to $120,000; 20 percent increase in state funding as part of a multi-year stable funding plan; a 5 percent increase from the 2014-15 state budget contingent a tuition freeze through 2016-17; and $50 million to promote innovative models of higher education at the campus level that result in more bachelor’s degrees, improved four‑year completion rates, and more effective transfers between the community colleges and the universities.
But don’t take my word for it, listen to one of your neighbors at 8 Tenth Street, 94103, via the Yelp:
“Please read this if you are considering any non-rent control building in San Francisco. I wish someone had told me this when I moved to the city and chose Nema. Please consider this advice.
If you have visited Nema, you probably can tell that the management, amenities and staff are outstanding. You may also notice that everyone living in the building has just moved from another city or state. Here’s why:
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you rent in a non-rent control building, unless you can sign a multi-year lease. Could you afford a double digit rent increase? 50% rent increase? Is your income doubling next year? It seems far away now, but you will probably want to renew your lease. Now is the time to make a good decision about housing, not next year because you will be paying much more then.”
So basically, buildings built AFTER rent control came to San Francisco in 1979 don’t have no rent control. (The relevant date is printed on your landlord’s Occupancy Permit, but if your crib went up in 1980 or later, don’t even bother checking.)
That means that your friends renting units in older buildings will face a maximum annual rent increase limited to 60% of a certain Cost of Living Index dealing with the Bay Area. That means one-something percent per year.
OTOH, if you moved into the NeMA at $1950 per month last year (as some did, 2nd or 3rd floor, lousy view* – Unit 324, for example**) and your lease is coming up, consider that there are no units available now for less than $2800 (I’m srsly – some studios go for $4000+)
Are you, the NeMA renter, looking at a 40% rent increase soon?
If not this year, what about the next year too? How long will it take to have a 40% increase for your unit, you know, cumulatively?
Sooner than you think Auslander.
Sooner than you think, Outlander.
Why don’t websites aimed at tourists and newcomers tell you this? Well, because they’re on the take from … The NEMA!
I assign this story to the San Francisco Chronicle – this one writes itself. (This would be a good CW Nevius, I’m seriously.)
*Compared with the rest of the units in the Nema.
**This was not a BMR (Below Market Rate) unit reserved for those people making less than $38,000 per year, no no. Those places went for around $950 per month. I’m talking about market rate units back when market rate was $1950 per month for the least desirable apartments at NeMA – that was all the way back in 2013.
I don’t know.
But check this out:
“Ordinance calling and providing for a special election to be held in the City and County of San Francisco on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, for the purpose of submitting to San Francisco voters a proposition to incur the following bonded debt of the City and County: $500,000,000 to finance the construction, acquisition, and improvement of certain transportation and transit related improvements, and related costs necessary or convenient for the foregoing purposes; authorizing landlords to pass-through 50% of the resulting property tax increase to residential tenants under Administrative Code Chapter 37…”
All right kids – you do the math. Start with $850,000,000 and divide that up among the denizens of the 415 / 628.
I don’t know how to do that but when I tried, I came up with a $30 a month rent increase for you, Gentle Reader, for the next 7-10 years.
Would the average landlord take the trouble to do a pass-through? IDK. I’m thinking the typical rent-controlled renter in SF doesn’t have to deal with pass-throughs currently. But maybe this big old honking bond would be the trigger for a wave of passthroughs?
Here’s what former SFGov employee Howard Wong has to say:
What does the ballot measure do:
Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.
Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.
If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.
To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.
The SFMTA wants more money, certainly. But the question is what will the SFMTA do for us in order to get the money, right? Otherwise, we’re just shoveling more coal into a broken-down machine. Why not use the bond as a carrot to get the SFMTA to reform?
Perhaps our SFMTA doesn’t deserve this bond?
Anyway, if I were promoting this bond, I’d figure out what the odds are that landlords would pass through 50% of the burden and also how much rents would be increased, on average, and for how long. And then I’d say, well this is what the SFMTA is going to do with your money and this is how much it will cost you, the renter, or you, the owner.
Is this massive transit bond a good idea?
I don’t know.