Posts Tagged ‘increase’

Will This Fall’s Half-Billion Transit Bond Allow Your Landlord to Raise Your Rent, Costing You Thousands? – “Pass-Throughs”

Friday, August 1st, 2014

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:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

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.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

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.

Amazingly, the Corrupt SFMTA Gives the SFBC Money to Say that the Corrupt SFMTA Needs More Money

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Republican Sean Walker is financing a ballot proposition this fall and the SFBC is not amused:

Despite an official “Transit-First” policy in San Francisco, biking, walking and taking transit in our city have been historically underfunded…

Uh, riding a bike isn’t actually “transit,” which IRL is “a system of buses, trains, etc. that people use to travel around in a particular city or area.”

This lack of funding and priority, means Muni is too often overcrowded and unreliable…

Or perhaps MUNI is poorly managed? Oh you don’t care because you get hundreds and thousands from the SFMTA each year? Why don’t you disclose that fact before crowing the SFMTA’s party line? Oh, you used to post your tax returns but now you don’t because you’re worried people might actually look at them? OK fine.

…dozens of people are killed just trying to walk across the streets each year.

Not dozens. Too many to be sure but not “dozens.”

…livable streets…

Our streets currently aren’t “liveable?” What does that mean? How Orwellian is your fund-raising “framing” going to get?

…there is a group of San Franciscans who think that there’s actually too much space given to sustainable ways to get around…

Well now, if you give the voters of the 415 / 628 the chance to freeze for five years the amount of money the SFMTA MUNI makes from parking tickets, they just might say “Aye,” right?

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be working with partners to make sure our transportation system is moving forward

MUNI is a disaster, right? MUNI is not “moving forward.” How much does the SFMTA give the SFBC every year to say stuff like this?

Our Board of Directors voted last week to oppose this “Transit-Last” measure, while supporting two important transportation funding measures on this November’s ballot, which will advance and truly better balance our city’s transportation needs. The first is the Transportation & Road Safety Bond, a $500 million general obligation bond dedicated to transportation capital improvements, including modernizing our transit system and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Will this allow landlords to up rents in SF? Howard Wong, who is not on the SFMTA payroll, says it will “raise 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.

(It’s important to note that this measure will not raise local property taxes, as it only infills expiring debt.)

What does this mean? Is Howard Wong incorrect?

And the second is a charter amendment linking population growth to transportation spending, specifically long-ignored transit & safe streets needs. 

So the corrupt SFMTA gives you money to say that the corrupt SFMTA needs more money?

Here’s the rest of what Howard Wong has to say, FYI:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

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.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The Ordinance’s legal language makes no definitive commitment to any specific work:  “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bondmay include but are not limited to the following: 

Then, for eight project types, all eight begin with:  “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…” 

In financial decisions, never sign a contract when the terms and deliverables are ambiguous.

Throwing billions of dollars at bad Muni projects hasn’t worked. 

Since 2006, Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations annually)…. Large project cost overruns have cut funds for infrastructure and maintenance.  The Central Subway alone has taken $595 million in state and local funds.  Huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.

Bond Does Not Restore Muni Service Cuts

Muni has cut neighborhood transit, cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors.  …  Eliminated bus lines will not be restored—Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 34, 89…  Shortened bus routes will not be restored:  Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48, 53, 67, 88, 91, 108…  Muni has been an integrated citywide transit system, interconnecting outlying neighborhoods.  By cutting neighborhood transit, driving is encouraged—then penalized by more fees/ fines/ parking elimination.

Learning From the Past:  SFMTA’s Poor Spending Habits 

·        In 1999, Prop E created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and a 85% on-time performance mandate.  Instead, Muni falsified on-time performance data and paid bonuses to its Director.

·        In 2003, Prop K extended the transportation sales tax and provided a list of projects.  The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.578 billion.  The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.

·        In 2007, Prop A gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars.  Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.

·        In 2011, voters approved a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with $181 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $429 million.  Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.

·        SFMTA’s budget grew by hundreds of millions of dollars to $978 million.  Number of employees grew by thousands to 4,921.  Salaries have soared.  And riders get service cuts.

Mayor’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) and Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)

This proposed Bond, a second Bond, future fees and taxes will not meet objectives.  Only 49% of the TTF”s recommended funding goes to Muni.  TTF’s proposed $2.955 billion does not remotely solve Muni’s $25 billion in 20-Year Capital Plan Need.  The proposed TEP continues transit cuts to neighborhoods, shifting service to rapid corridors.  Better planning is needed for a citywide integrated Muni system.  Oppose this Bond Measure.

Sincerely,

Howard Wong, AIA, a founding member of SaveMuni

www.SaveMuni.com

www.SaveNorthBeachVillage.org

Unsponsored Link: The Time to Buy Tickets for the 2013 San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker is Now – Prices Going Up

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Here’s the latest from our San Francisco Ballet. If you think you might want to go this year, the time to buy is now. It’s not like you’re going to have a bunch of empty seats around you come December, so just get your ticks and put it in your calendar and you’re good to go.

All the deets:

“Don’t Miss Your Last Chance to Purchase Nutcracker Tickets at the Best Prices of the Season!

Tickets are going fast for SF Ballet’s spectacular production of Nutcracker! Current prices are guaranteed only through September 30, so dont miss your chance to enjoy the best seats at the very best prices of the season.

SF Ballet’s Nutcracker is an unforgettable holiday experience for all ages, featuring exquisite costumes and scenery, breathtaking effects, and spectacular dance by one of the world’s premier companies. Join us as the lights dim, the curtain rises, and the wonder of the holiday season comes to life in Nutcracker: a uniquely San Francisco tradition.

Order now before prices increase Oct 1!

Make Nutcracker a special occasion!
From our VIP Box Experience with an elegant reception, to Family Performances with special gifts for the first 500 children and complimentary treats at intermission, SF Ballet offers a variety of special performances to make Nutcracker an unforgettable experience.Learn more here!

Groups have more fun—and save up to 20%!
Gather 20 friends or colleagues and save up to 20% on select performances and seating areas. Learn more or call 415.865.6785.

Remember, after September 30, Nutcracker ticket prices are subject to change, so don’t delay, reserve your seats today!

Order Online: sfballet.org/nutcracker

Call:
 415.865.2000 Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm

Visit sfballet.org/nutcracker for a full schedule of Nutcracker performances and events.

Hey, Guess Who’s Jacking Up Its Rates for 2013? PG&E, That’s Who – Why? PG&E Incompetence, San Bruno Explosion

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Hey PG&E! Are you going to end up turning a profit on the killing of those eight people down in San Bruno?

You remember them, right? The eight people you killed?

Thusly:

Click to expand

Hey is San Francisco shadow-Mayor Willie Brown still on PG&E’s payroll?

Sure, why not?

And hey, is the leader of the San Francisco Democrat party still on PG&E’s payroll?

Again, sure, why not?

Is that a good thing?

Oh well.

Here’s today’s happy talk from your energy monopoly:

“PG&E Rates to Change Modestly at Start Of 2013

Gas Rates Will Dip, Electric Rates Will Rise in Line with Inflation to Pay for Enhanced Safety, Reliability and Clean-Energy Programs

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said today that with the start of the new year, residential customers will see a significant decline in natural gas rates, and a modest increase in electric rates to cover the utility’s costs of maintaining and modernizing its system and of meeting a state mandate to buy more renewable energy. (See table below for average estimated bill impacts.)

PG&E’s average rates for residential gas customers will dip in January almost six percent compared to January 2012, thanks in part to lower wholesale costs for gas. However, customers should expect an increase in gas rates of about two percent as early as February, reflecting spending approved this month by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for PG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan. This plan, one of the most aggressive and comprehensive gas pipeline modernization programs in the United States, will help PG&E achieve its goal of operating the safest and most reliable natural gas system in the country.

Average residential electric rates will increase about 2.6 percent system-wide compared to last January, close to the rate of inflation in Northern California. The increase is driven primarily by higher costs for acquiring clean, renewable energy to meet state mandates, and by spending previously approved by the CPUC for operating, maintaining and upgrading PG&E’s electric generation and distribution systems. Thanks to such upgrades, electric customers recently experienced the lowest rate of outages in the utility’s history.

Customers will likely face another electric rate increase this May of about two percent to pay for additional electric transmission infrastructure to modernize California’s power grid and deliver more renewable energy to customers.

“We know our customers care more than ever about their energy bills during these difficult economic times, so we continue to focus on keeping rate increases as modest as possible while raising enough revenue to continue improving our safety and reliability,” said Tom Bottorff, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for PG&E. “These revenues help us serve customers by reducing the frequency of electrical outages, improving the responsiveness of our call centers, providing more convenient services and, above all, continuing to upgrade the safety of our gas and electric operations. Although electric and gas rates fluctuate from year to year, our average customer bills remain well below the national average.”

Bottorff added, “We try to empower all of our customers with tools to help them better understand and manage their energy needs so they can control their bills and make the best use of our services.”

SmartMeter-enabled online tools like MyEnergy, money-saving programs like Winter Gas Savings, rebates for energy-efficient appliances and home retrofits, and bill payment options make it easier than ever for customers the get more value for their money.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC BILLS

     Customer Usage January 2012         January 2013       Change
     ————– ————         ————       ——
         550 kWh                  $89.31             $91.60        $2.29
         ——-                  ——             ——        —–
         850 kWh                 $184.23            $188.05        $3.82
         ——-                 ——-            ——-        —–
        1,200 kWh                $301.54            $307.13        $5.59
        ———                ——-            ——-        —–
JANUARY RESIDENTIAL GAS BILLS @72 therms

     January 2012       January 2013       Change
     ————       ————       ——
                 $82.37             $77.47        -$4.90
                 ——             ——        ——

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

CONTACT: PG&E External Communications, +1-415-973-5930

Web Site: http://www.pge.com

Here’s Why MUNI Basing Its Fares on Your Income Will Never Be “Cost Neutral” – Expansionist SFMTA – Through With the Two-Step

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Here’s the news:

“Reiskin said he’d like to develop a fare system that cuts down on the red tape and provides discounts for those who need them, and full-fare rates for those who don’t. Reiskin said the program ideally would be cost-neutral, with prosperous older riders paying increased fares and lower-income adults paying less.”

Now of course MUNI wants more money money money all the time time time.

So of course, you could concoct a scheme that would be cost-neutral, at first, anyway.

But that wouldn’t be the point of the exercise.

The point of the exercise would be to raise revenue for MUNI by subsequently raising fares for the average rider.

So, step one is to change the fare structure to make step two viable.

Step two is to raise fares.

I see what you’re doing there, MUNI.

Well, myself, I’m through with the two-step.

Yet another car on Market Street* delaying MUNI:

Click to expand

*The only way the driver of the white wagon could have been at fault in this collision was if she had raced passed the orange streetcar by illegally driving the wrong way on the wrong side of Market. 

 

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener’s Thoughts on Increasing Taxicab Medallions in San Francisco are Utterly Laughable

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Uh…

The idea of adding cabs to city streets has long been opposed by many taxi drivers, who say competition is already fierce enough for a job that has never offered a lucrative payday. Wiener said the hearings can address those concerns. He wants to convince drivers that more cabs will increase their earnings, since passengers will be more willing to call on taxis if they believe service is reliable.”

The idea that increasing the number of medallions would increase the earnings of existing drivers* is utterly laughable.

The lazy sit-around-all-day cabdrivers** of San Francisco:

Ergo, one is forced to assume that Supervisor Wiener isn’t talking to the drivers, oh no. He is actually addressing the people who would otherwise feel sorry for the drivers.

It’s unfathomable that he would actually believe what he’s talking about, so that means he’s lying. (It’d be like Hitler telling the Cossacks how great Operation Barbarossa is going to work out for them.)

Just saying.

*It’s not impossible to observe a network effect or something like that in some systems (like when a Starbucks moves in next door to your existing coffee shop, for example), but it _is_ impossible for an increase in medallions, by itself, to increase the earnings of existing San Francisco cabbies.  

**The other place to look for lazy cabdrivers is at SFO – hundreds of them lazing about smoking cigarettes and playing card games and complaining about how little money they’re making.*** Most hacks in SF aren’t lazy like that. Most hacks drive around looking for fares and, for that reason, end up making more money. 

***Back in the day, there was a hotel sitting on SFO property so driving there from Terminal 3 would take one minute literally. It was a three dollar fare. The airport would allow the returning driver to cut to the front of the line in this situation, but that generally would not make up for the loss of the driver waiting more than an hour for a one-minute ride. Faced with this situation, some of the drivers would pop the trunk, take out your bags and drive off in a huff. Truth. 

The Streets of San Francisco: SFMTA Rips Off Famous MUNI Critic Greg Dewar and His N Judah Chronicles

Friday, July 1st, 2011

This bus ad doesn’t say The Streets of San Francisco, oh no, it says The Treats of San Francisco.

See? (The fine print in the ad says that MUNI has permission from CBS to run to use the SoSF logo, so everything’s nice and legal.)

Click to expand.

Isn’t this ad kind of a rip-off of Greg Dewar’s N Judah Chronicles?

Signs point to yes.

Speaking of whom, here’s MUNI’s Death Spiral from Greg Dewar and Joe Eskenazi. (Boy, the head of MUNI at the time just flipped out, I mean, really flipped out over this bit in the SF Weekly from last year. He hosted a big meeting in response to this one article. It was epic, I’ve been told.)

Anyway, do you know what that “treat” is, the one referenced in the MUNI ad?

It’s the price increase what starts today.

Hurray!

Beginning July 1, Golden Gate Bridge “Carpoolers” Will Need to Stop for Inspection

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Remember back in the day, back when you could pose a couple mannequiner in your ride to avoid paying the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge? Well, those days are over as of July 1, 2010. Why? Why not, Our Bridge needs money to pay for ferries and buses and whatnot. That’s why a $3 carpool toll is coming.

So instead of paying nothing, you’ll have $3 deducted from your Fastrak. What’s that, you don’t have the Fastrak? Well then you’re going to have to pay full price, whether you have three or more souls en tu coche or not. Fastrak, vill be (achtung, baby!) mandatory for carpoolers.

What’s that, at least you’ll be able to zip through the tollbooths with your new Fastrak? Guess again. You’re going to have to stop for a carpool inpsection so the toll-taker can count noses and do a manequin check to boot.  That means that Resusci Annie isn’t going to cut it no mo.

These things are being used everywhere:

It was nice while it lasted but now it’s gone.

What kind of improved industrial light and magic animatronics will the George Lucas boys have to ccreate to continue beating the system when they come into the Presidio from points north every weekday morning?

The World Wonders.

“Effective Thursday, July 1, 2010, the Carpool Toll on the Golden Gate Bridge will be $3. To receive the carpool toll rate of $3, carpools MUST do the following:

  • Have a FasTrak account in good standing and a valid FasTrak tag. The FasTrak tag must be mounted in the vehicle per instructions.
  • Stop at a staffed lane so that the toll collector may validate the vehicle as a carpool.
  • NOT use a FasTrak ONLY toll lane (you will be assessed the full $5 FasTrak toll if you use a FasTrak ONLY toll lane).

What MTC is Calling Congestion Pricing on the Bay Bridge Isn’t, Actually

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Obviously, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission can charge whatever it wants on our broke-down San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, but raising the toll at 5:00 AM every weekday morning when the bridge isn’t congested at all is not what can fairly be called congestion pricing.

Call it something else, MTC. Call it a toll increase, if you want. Whatever you call it, it’s not an implementation of congestion pricing.  

Mssrs. Matier and Ross are highlighting this issue today

“Bay Bridge drivers are going to be forking over an extra $2 during the morning “peak” commute hours of 5 to 10 a.m. starting Thursday – even though the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which made the call, has stats showing the actual peak is from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.”

Economist Bill Vickrey, the “Father of Congestion Pricing,” must be rolling over in his grave over there in New York.

What good does it do to send a signal to drivers that it’s better for society if they drive over the bridge at 4:50 AM vs. 5:10 AM? It does no good at all.

 

The latest missive explaining tings from the Ministry of Truth, after the jump.

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