Posts Tagged ‘tax’

“The Grocery Tax” isn’t a Grocery Tax – Sry

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Here’s what Prop V is.

And here’s how things are working out in Berkeley.

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Owner? Former owner? Current owner? Part owner?

And is this the Mi Terra Market the “No on V, Enough is Enough, Don’t Tax Our Groceries, with Major Funding by American Beverage Association California PAC” people are citing? IDK.

Anyway, perhaps it’s this mailer itself what’s “wrong?”

This one’s especially bad, even for Frisco.

Just saying.

If Eric Mar’s “Tech Tax” is a “Job-Killing Measure,” Then Why Did Former Mayor Gavin Newsom Sign a Very Similar Tax into Law in 2004?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Here you go, the News of the Day:

3 SF supervisors move to put tech tax on November ballot By Emily Green

And here’s the reaction:

I am appalled at the political vindictiveness of this proposed measure,” said Alex Tourk, a spokesman for San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation, a coalition of tech companies.

Supervisor Mark Farrell called it “the worst idea I’ve heard in months.”

Deirdre Hussey, spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Lee, called it a “job-killing measure.” She added that the measure “upends the grand bargain” made between business and labor that ultimately led voters to eliminate the payroll tax in 2012.

And let’s note that:

[District One Supervisor Eric] Mar’s proposal would deem stock option compensation when a company goes public as taxable payroll.

All right, all I’ve done so far is simply read the news to you. But now let’s travel back to a time when former Mayor Gavin Newsom, another Right-Of-Center Willie Brown Appointee Who Somehow Ended Up Mayor, signed into law the very same 1.5% stock options tax. So put on your white shoes and dance the blues – it’s Pillsbury, bitches:

3/26/2004

On February 19, 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom approved recent changes to San Francisco’s Business Tax ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors on February 19, 2004. These changes become effective March 20, 2004, 30 days after signing by the Mayor.

…the amendments also contain significant changes such as … including stock options in the definition of payroll expense.

So, was Gavin Newsom’s stock options tax a “job-killing measure” back in 2004 the way the same tax is being portrayed here in 2016?

That’s my question – I don’t know how ppl would answer.

But I’m thinking that if this 2016 proposal gets enacted and you’re a “tech* company,” whatever that is, going IPO in Frisco will cost you millions, just as Gavin Newsom wanted back in aught-four.

So that means that Gav was a job killer, right?

*What’s a tech company? IDK. What’s a pit bull?

Historic Koshland Mansion, Frisco’s Most Expensive Listing, is Taken Over by HandyCam-Toting Skateboarders – Another Indignity at 3800 Washington

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

For one brief shining moment, some thought Taylor Swift would buy this long-empty fixer-upper up in Presidio Heights.

Then there was the art-thieving squatter – he’s imprisoned now, AFAIK.

And now this is how things looked last week:

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I count five sk8tr boyz recording their tricks up there.

Look for the results on the YouTube.

Our poor, poor Koshland Mansion…

Why is Appointed Mayor Ed Lee So Unpopular, Ch. LXXVI: Owner of Popular Cassava Restaurant in the Richmond Questions Twitter Tax Break

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Let’s see if I can pay off on that headline here. So yeah, Ed Lee’s not popular these days, for a host of reasons. Look it up. And I believe this person could be described as an owner, of Cassava, which certainly is popular

And Twitter Tax Break, well that’s a term people use. Here’s how things* got started, but we’re not only subsidizing Twitter in the Twitterloin area – there are other outfits too. It’s complicated.

But anyway, here you go:

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*Part of the problem the tech bros had was a law signed into law in 2004 by Gavin Newsom, which was designed to close a “loophole” in the payroll tax having to do with IPOs. Anyway, the loophole’s back. 

It’s Official: San Francisco’s Recent Super Bowl 50 Corporate Party for the NFL was a “SUPER BUST,” per Our Castro Merchants and Others

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Well, here’s my memory of SFGov’s recent free-to-the-NFL hosting of Super Bowl L:

Capturehfhfg

(I think this one is from shanand.)

But the grown-up rich kids running our local “Host Committee” (who of course don’t want to reimburse SFGov) think everything went so great for us that we’ll be ready to do this whole thing over again as soon as five years from now – Super Bowl LV let’s say.

But we haven’t even cleaned up all the garbage yet, and we haven’t had time to add up all our losses.

Oh well.

Oh look, our Castro merchants are now weighing in on what they’re calling Super Bust 50.” See?

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“As the Super Let Down after Super Bowl 50 starts to fade, let’s remember who is going to end up paying the biggest price for Santa Clara hosting this huge sporting event – – we are: local merchants, especially in The Castro.  But, we are not alone, we hear, as local merchant associations all over San Francisco report down, soft revenues during SB50.  From all over The Castro and Upper Market neighborhood, I’ve heard from fellow merchants.  The nine days of official SB50 events in the City ballooned, for us, into over three weeks of SB50-related interruptions.  Customer traffic (locals and visitors alike) and revenues were some of their slowest on record during what had been promised as a “busy time.”   Nightmare predictions of over-crowded streets and traffic jams kept Bay Area local folks out of San Francisco.  Running “Bustitues” instead of the F Line historic streetcars between The Castro and Ferry Building for over three weeks further hurt our area’s local and visitor traffic and revenues.”

Read all about it at our Market Street Railway.

I’ll tell you, I was in the office one time when a Marin County realtor* tried to screw over an Area Attorney by trying tack on about $3000 to the attorney’s own executed deal for him to buy a house. The realtor was like, “Well, it loks like you don’t want this deal then, Sir.”

This was his reaction:

“I’m going to sue you. I’m going to sue your supervising broker. I’m going to sue your brokerage. I’m going to sue…”

And then, magically, poof, all the supposed necessary fees went away. This is how an attorney represents an attorney’s own personal interests.

Now, do I think that the attorneys who negotiated this lousy deal between SFGov and the NFL represented We The People the way they represent themselves when, say they buy a house for themselves? No, not at all. They view this corporate party as a way to please certain parties and as a way to have fun and excitement themselves, a way to show that our not so large city is actually in fact “world-class” and a way to compensate themselves for all the stress and strain involved with putting up with us, Us The People.

Oh well.

Oh hey, is our hotel tax a one-for-one substitute for our SB50-reduced sales tax revenue for our suffering Castro merchants and others? NOT AT ALL! Take a look at where the revenue goes – some of it gets siphoned off, instead of going to run SFGov / pay our unfunded pension liabilities etc.

Oh well

At least we’re not going to get the Olympics…

*Always lower-case. This is the only entry in my stylebook.

Janis Joplin Biopic Set to Film On Location in Frisco – “Get It While You Can” – And CA Taxpayers are Subsidizing Production, Yay!

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Why on Gaia’s Green Earth should we pay Hollywood millions to make a Janis Joplin biopic on the streets of San Francisco? Well, that’s what we just did.

Like what, otherwise they’d film in Vancouver, Canada? Well, OK fine. If that’s the way you want to do it, Hollywood. Of course, your feature will look a lot better if you come to Noe Valley (aka “Upper Mission” as some called it, back in the day) and the 94117, but it’ll cost you big bucks, since SF is one of the most expensive places to shoot in the world.

But this tax giveaway makes things easier for you, I s’pose, oh well. (I don’t approve of this arrangement, obvs.)

Moving on.

To this, on this flick’s IMDb entry:

“I am a hard core Joplin fan, so of course I was really excited when I heard they where making a Biopic… that is until I found out they are casting Amy Adams as Janis. WTH? This is a joke right? Why would they disgrace Janis with this broad? I have seen Amy’s movies… She in no way can play this part. Surely they could think of someone else!?!? Dana Fuchs would have been a better choice, or even Gabby West. NOT Amy Adams. What a shame.”

Say hello to your new Janis Joplin:

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Hey, what if it turns out that JANIS: Little Girl Blue or Janis (1974) , both of which didn’t cost us anything, not millions anyway, are much much better films? Mmm…

All right, get all the deets here.

Boy, Our DPW is Cooking Up a Deal for You: Pay a Small Parcel Tax of $15 or $39 to Avoid Unlimited Liability for Street Trees

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

All the DPW wants is simply this:

All the money it can get its hands on.

To that end, it wants to tax you mo money. But this proposed schedule, as seen on the BOMA Blog, sounds like a very very good deal for you, J.Q. Public.

‘Cause the last thing you want is liability for trees you didn’t plant and also actually, trees you didn’t even want in the first place.

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Say yes yes yes to this offer, homeowners, afore they change their minds!

Interim Mayor Ed Lee Stars as a Menacing Celestial Body in This “Yes On Prop G” Flyer

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Hadn’t noticed this one before:

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Take it away, BALLOTPEDIA:

“A City of San Francisco Transfer Tax on Residential Property Re-Sold in Five Years, Proposition G ballot question was on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of San Francisco, California. It was defeated.

Proposition G imposed an additional tax on the sale or transfer of multi-unit property that has been owned for less than five years. Details about the tax are in the San Francisco Ballot Simplification digest.

Election results

City of San Francisco, Proposition G
Result Votes Percentage
Defeated No 117,887 53.91%
Yes 100,776 46.09%

Election results via: City and County of San Francisco Registrar of Voters

The San Francisco Ballot Simplification Committee provided the following digest for Proposition G:[1]

THE WAY IT IS NOW:The City collects a transfer tax on sales of most real property in San Francisco. The tax rate depends on the sale price of the property. The lowest tax rate is 0.5%, for property sold for $250,000 or less. The highest tax rate is 2.5%, for property sold for $10,000,000 or more. The tax rate is not affected by how long a property is owned.THE PROPOSAL:

Proposition G would impose an additional tax on the total sale price of certain multi-unit residential properties that are sold within five years of purchase or transfer. The following table shows the tax rates that would apply:

Length of Time Seller Has Owned Property – Tax Rate:

Less than one year – 24 percent
One to two years – 22 percent
Two to three years – 20 percent
Three to four years – 18 percent
Four to five years – 14 percent

This additional tax would apply to sales occurring on or after January 1, 2015.

This additional tax would not apply in the following circumstances:

  • The property is a single-family house or condominium and does not include an in-law unit;
  • An owner of the property, including a tenancy-in-common unit, has used it as a primary residence for at least one year immediately before the sale;
  • The property contains more than 30 separate residential units;
  • The property is sold for an amount equal to or less than what the seller paid for the property;
  • The property is sold within one year of a property owner’s death;
  • The property is legally restricted to low- and middle-income households;
  • The property is newly built housing;
  • The property meets the following criteria: it contains no more than two dwelling units; the seller applied on or before July 1, 2014, for a building permit for a project with a total construction cost of $500,000 or more; and the last permit was issued no more than a year before the sale of the property; or
  • The sale of the property is exempt from the existing transfer tax.

This measure would also authorize the Board of Supervisors to create additional exemptions from both the existing transfer tax and this proposed additional tax for properties that are subject to affordability-based restrictions.

A “YES” VOTE MEANS: If you vote “yes,” you want the City to impose an additional tax of between 14% and 24% on the total sale price of certain multi-unit residential properties that are sold within five years of purchase or transfer, subject to certain exceptions.

A “NO” VOTE MEANS: If you vote “no,” you do not want the City to impose this additional tax.

Whoo Boy: “LEGAL REVIEW FINDS PROP. F LAWSUITS MAY RESULT IN $435,000 AWARD FOR MINOR, ALLEGED VIOLATIONS”

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Airbnb is pulling out all the stops here.

Let me just say that first of all, no “minor” violations of San Francisco’s short term rental laws will result in anything like a $435K award. Sorry. And also, by the time any “awards” are handed out, said violations are no longer merely “alleged,” but actually proven.

And now, on with the show:

“Noted Law Firm Browne George Ross LLP Provides Review of Legal Impacts of San Francisco’s Prop. F

Proposition F creates a profit-motivated private right of action even if the City and County of San Francisco finds no violation.

WELL, LET’S SEE HERE. A PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION ALREADY EXISTS, RIGHT? YEP. WHAT PROP F ADDS ON TOP OF THIS IS AN ADDITIONAL PENALTY OF $250-$1000 A DAY, ASSUMING THAT THE RESIDENTS BRINGING SUIT ACTUALLY WIN. THE REASON THAT THIS ACTION WOULD BE ALLOWED INDEPENDENT OF WHAT SFGOV DOES IS THAT SOMETIMES SFGOV LIKES TO SIT ON ITS HANDS AND DO NOTHING, SIMILAR TO THE WAY THAT IT’S DONE VERY LITTLE TO REGULATE SHORT TERM RENTALS THE LIKES OF WHICH WE’VE BEEN SEEING THE PAST TEN YEARS, AND, IN FACT, THE LITTLE THAT SFGOV HAS BEEN DOING LATELY WAS SPURRED ON BY THE PROSPECT OF PROP F. SO ACTUALLY, PROP F IS GOOD BECAUSE IT’S ALREADY PAYING OFF. AND, AS FAR AS “PROFIT-MOTIVATED” IS CONCERNED, SOMETHING SIMILAR IS ALREADY IN CALIFORNIA LAW REGARDING LANDLORD REFUNDS OF RENTAL DEPOSITS. SO IF A LANDLORD IMPROPERLY RETAINS AN APARTMENT SECURITY DEPOSIT, THE TENANT CAN SUE FOR NOT ONLY THE WRONGFULLY RETAINED PART BUT ALSO AN AMOUNT DOUBLE THE DEPOSIT AS A KIND OF SPECIAL DAMAGES. SO A LANDLORD’S MOUTHPIECE COULD ARGUE THAT THE TENANT SUING IS “PROFIT-MOTIVATED,” BUT THAT WOULDN’T ACTUALLY BE TRUE, RIGHT? AND IN FACT, THIS RENTAL DEPOSIT REFUND LAW SCARES LANDLORDS INTO DOING THE RIGHT THING, SO THAT NO LEGAL ACTION EVER NEEDS TO GET KICKED INTO ACTION. SEE HOW THAT WORKS?

In other words if someone wishes to sue their neighbor even after the city and County of San Francisco has determined there is no violation, an unscrupulous individual can still file a lawsuit and simply claim damages amounting to as much as $435,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

WELL, THIS LOS ANGELES-BASED LAW FIRM IS SIMPLY ASSUMING THAT THE PROPERTY OWNER USING AIRBNB OR WHATEVER TO VIOLATE OUR LAWS WOULD BE A NEIGHBOR OF THE SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTS AFFECTED. BUT LOTS OF AIRBNBERS DON’T EVEN LIVE IN SF, RIGHT? SO IT’S RATHER MORE RESIDENT SUING AIRBNBER AS OPPOSED TO “NEIGHBOR SUING NEIGHBOR,” RIGHT? AND HEY, HOW CAN AN “UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUAL” GET AN ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE, RIGHT? AND HEY, “NOTED” LA LAW FIRM WHAT I’VE NEVER HEARD OF AFORE, HAVE ANY OF YOU EVER REPRESENTED AN “UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUAL?” HMMM… THAT’S SOMETHING TO THINK ON. IN ANY EVENT, UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUALS  WITH WORTHLESS CASES WON’T WIN AT COURT SO THEY WON’T GET ANY DAMAGES AT ALL, RIGHT? AND LET ME JUST SAY, ANY AIRBNBER WHO ACTUALLY ENDS UP PAYING $435K PLUS HAS REALLY REALLY REALLY SCREWED UP. THESE WILL BE UNIQUE PEOPLE, CERTAINLY.

Because litigation is so incredibly expensive, time consuming and stressful many people will pay to get out of suits even though they have done nothing wrong.

BOY, WHAT A PITCH FROM A LAW FIRM – YOU DON’T NEED US, JUST PAY ALL THE MONEY ANYBODY EVER ASKS FOR AND THEN WAIT FOR THE NEWS TO SPREAD AND THEN GET SUED AGAIN AND AGAIN. AND NOTE HERE, I’M NOT ARGUING THAT PROP F IS GOOD FOR AIRBNBERS (ALTHOUGH IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR SOME) – I’M SAYING THAT PROP F IS GOOD FOR SAN FRANCISCO. AND ACTUALLY, PROP F WOULD BE GOOD FOR LOS ANGELES LAW FIRMS, POSSIBLY, IF LA-BASED AIRBNBERS GET SUED IN SF AND THEY WANT TO HAVE A LOCAL ATTORNEY, THEN MAYBE EVEN THIS LA FIRM COULD GET IN ON THE ACTION.

Proposition F will exponentially exacerbate the problem by encouraging an untold number of new lawsuits, thus delaying even more those who appropriately seek justice through San Francisco Superior Court

WELL LET’S SEE HERE. PROP F WILL BE BUT A DROP IN THE BUCKET AS FAR AS SF SUP CT IS CONCERNED. IT’S NOT GOING TO EXPONENTIALLY DO ANYTHING.

FIN.

SURPRISE! Local Airbnb-Type Room Letter OPPOSES Prop F – Let’s Read “Emey” Meyerson’s Take on SF’s Airbnb Mess

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

[UPDATE: Another reaction here. Oh, and another reaction here, from Sara Shortt.]

I don’t know who Medium Corporation‘s Emey is – what, a Scott Wiener fan, an Airbnb room/unit letter, a person who also makes money from “marketing, politics?”

Anywho, I sort of asked for somebody to tell me why Prop F is bad right here, so I’ll read through this and respond, you know, in real time.

1. So Prop F is worse than I think? So you think I think it’s bad, but you’re here on Medium telling me that it’s even worse than I think it is? Well, that’s not right at all. I think Prop F is great.

2. So like I’m not responsible for what signature gatherers say, right? ‘Nough said. Should I point out how Airbnb says/does similar things? OK then.

3. Yes, STR’s are already regulated by SFGov, but poorly. That’s why we have the Prop F, to fix what they call regulatory capture.

4. Airbnb-type outfits are the primary problem, right? I’ll concede that there are others out there. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t regulate Airbnb, right? Airbnbers oppose Prop F because, unlike the current regs, it wasn’t written with input from Airbnb itself. Like, should VW write our air pollution laws?

5. Well, Prop F isn’t the worst way to go about things. A worser way to regulate Airbnb is to have Airbnb write the rules what cover Airbnb’s business, right? What we’ve had so far from Supervisor Chiu has been a disaster, right? And then our dominant political faction assumed that something like Prop F wouldn’t make the ballot. And that takes us up to now. Hey, let’s take a look:

“After Mayor Lee and the Board of Supervisors screwed up short-term rental legislation not once but twice, voters now face a choice: keep current law or replace it with Prop F. Those upset over “ballot box planning” should blame City Hall for not enacting the handful of changes that would have either prevented Prop F from going to the ballot or ensured its defeat.”

6. Uh, is it “really hard to find the text online,” like actually? Uh no. Google “PROP F SF” and then after you click on the first hit, click on THE MEASURE. Easy peasy, huh, LIAR?

7. “It’ll blow your mind.” O rly? We’ll see. Hey, you know, my mind’s already blown by the number of meetings that David Chiu’s office had with Airbnb reps to create the first unworkable regs – is it 60 fucking meetings? 60 meetings to create an unworkable mess? Mind blown. Already.

8. So, you promise us Prop F but now you’re coming in with how it’s existing hotels what don’t want private Airbnb hotels in the Parkside. Let’s see, who’s against Prop F – it’s Airbnb and the superhosts, right? As expected, right? (And I’m thinking your hotel worker union types would be big Prop F boosters as well.)

9. You know, some Airbnbers who let out rooms support Prop F, right? Are they crazy?

10. I’ll field this one. Cleaning a house before guests arrive is not assisting anyone to offer a short term rental.

11. Well, if your neighbor “prevails,” then your neighbor gets money. If you neighbor doesn’t prevail, then not. Simple. You’re missing the “prevailing” part, Mediumer.

12. And if a taxi driver refuses to pick you up because s/he doesn’t like your color, creed, whathaveyou, that’s a misdemeanor too, right? Laws need to have teeth, right?

13. Yep, a quarterly report. No biggee, it would seem.

14. So let’s see here, illegal in-law units shouldn’t be on Airbnb, right? Is this so surprising?

15. What Airbnb should do is keep track of its own rentals, for a start, huh? Shouldn’t be too hard.

16. People will still be able to Airbnb after Prop F passes, right? But Prop F should really put the hurt on Airbnb hotel buildings.

17. Prop F can totally be fixed, if necessary, by a judge or two or more, or by a vote of The People. Yes, we can visit this issue again later.

18. What’s this?! “I have been a part-time homesharer in SF since last year.” This should have been the first line of your bit, non? Ah, man, I don’t think I would have read your whole bit if you had been upfront about your conflict of interest. And why is my Google Chrome underlining “homesharer?” Oh that’s right, it’s because you made it up. Let’s try something else, something honest, like “room letter.” See? No underlining. Case closed.

19. Oh, this Medium bit is ending abruptly, after the Big Reveal. All right, yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.