Posts Tagged ‘passthrough’

The SFMTA’s New MUNI Blog Urges You to Raise Your Rent by Voting YES on the Half Billion Dollar Prop A, More or Less

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Why did the people at the SFMTA just happen to start up a PR blog three months before an election that it really, really care$ about, you know, so it can continue to pay its employees their six-figure salaries? Mmmm…

Their latest effort:

“Going Green – SF’s Taxis Can Help You Go Green by Gary Fiset, September 8, 2014”

Isn’t this a headline at least a touch patronizing? I think so. “Oh MUNI, help me go green! Empower us!”

Our occasional “Going Green” feature will focus on the sustainability efforts at the SFMTA. We’ll share fun facts and figures about one of the most sustainable transportation systems, including Muni and the city’s taxi fleet, in the U.S.

Boy, that prose gags, doesn’t it? I think what dude is saying is, “Vote YES on Prop A. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!”

SF taxis come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but the vast majority of the fleet is definitely green.

Again, that prose gags, doesn’t it? But I think what dude is really saying is, “Vote YES on Prop A. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!”

In the 90s taxis were mostly lumbering Crown Victoria sedans that got 10 miles per gallon. Today’s hybrid taxis get better than 40 miles per gallon, reducing the GHG emissions by 75 percent.

Well, let me call bullshit on that one, Gentle Reader. I’m showing a City MPG of 19 Miles Per Gallon for the oldest of the Crown Vics that the SFMTA is talking about. In fact, those lumbering Crown Vics weighed less than lithe, smallish, current-day BMWs, like an athletic 2.0 litre 5 Series, for example. So, if you throw in an airport run or two during an average shift, then you’re well over 20 MPG. Oh, what’s that, in real life, with the hills and all the passengers and luggage, 1990’s era CVs got less than 20 MPG? All right, well, then that means that, IRL, today’s hybrid taxis aren’t averaging “better than 40 MPG” in San Francisco taxi service, right? I mean I see the point you’re making, SFMTA, but you’re lying about mpg and you know it.

Converting SF’s taxi fleet to hybrid and CNG has resulted in removing more than 60 thousand tons of GHG emission savings, the equivalent of taking 6,890 passenger cars off the road every year.

Again, that prose gags, doesn’t it? And please note how the SFMTA spins the putting of GHG’s into the atmosphere as “removing” GHG’s – those are kind of opposite things, right?

So it’s looking like the SFMTA, San Francisco’s worst public agency and the operator of America’s slowest big-city public transit system, is giving itself an A+ on how it has managed taxis in SF.

I cry foul.

And, oh yes, I’ve learned a bit more about the rent increase, the”passthrough” you’ll be voting for yourself this November if you vote YES, as the SFMTA really wants you to do, on that huge Prop A bond. It’ll be turbo simple for your landlord to raise your rent to pay for Prop A. Other landlords will laugh at your landlord for NOT increasing your rent. So, even if you’ve never had to deal with rent passthroughs before, you’ll get one from Prop A.

So what you say, what’s a few bucks a month in increased rent over the next seven years to pay for a better MUNI? Well fine, Gentle Reader, as long as you know it won’t be just a “few” bucks, then vote AYE, and so long as you know what you’re getting us into. But IMO, the road to a better MUNI starts with a NO vote on Prop A.

And a YES vote tells the SFMTA to carry on, business as usual, you all are doing a great job, gee thanks for all the “EXCELLENT TRANSPORTATION CHOICES” [that’s an actual SFMTA corporate catchphrase, I’m srsly.], here, have some more money, build us another Subway to Nowhere why not…

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.