Measure V not too costly
Measure V is bringing in "too much revenue." That is the reality. Hard to believe, but reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
The budget for Measure V, for fiscal year July 2017 to June 2018, is $2.59 million. However, revenue is coming in faster than predicted. Per Patty Kong, the director of finance and administrative services for the city of Mountain View, "the revenues received as of February 28, 2018 are $2,112,927." If $2.1 million is the revenue for eight months, then projected annual revenue would be $3.2 million, a revenue surplus of $1.1 million by June 30, 2018.
Recently there are some who claim that "Measure V is too costly" but that is completely invalid by definition. Revenue is the opposite of costly. The opposite of costly is currently what is happening. The claim that Measure V is too costly is completely false and ridiculous, now that the revenue surplus is highly likely.
However, they could go with "Measure V bringing in too much revenue." True statements are always a better choice.
Sierra Vista Avenue
Measure V good for community
Measure V was passed on November 8, 2016, to stabilize rents in Mountain View so that renters would be secure in the knowledge that their rents would not be continually raised to exorbitantly high rates. It has been successful. Working families, retired citizens and service workers have been able to continue to live here because they know their rents will only be raised at a reasonable rate.
The start-up and administrative expenses were paid by fees paid by the landlords at the rate of $13 a month per unit. This cost should be significantly lower from now on. The city loaned the money to the Rental Housing Committee until the fees were collected, which they have been. The city has been paid back at no cost to taxpayers. The city of Mountain View and its citizens are not financing Measure V, and it has not taken away from any present or future programs. Landlords may petition the Rental Housing Committee if they feel the rate of return is not fair to them.
Do not believe those who imply otherwise. The changes suggested by a petition now being circulated to update Measure V will undermine Measure V and cripple it.
Measure V is a positive step toward making affordable housing available in Mountain View. As citizens, council members and Rental Housing Committee members, let us embrace Measure V and make it work.
West Dana Street
Proposal to scale back rent control
As the Voice reported ("Rent control foes launch initiative campaign," April 6), landlord representatives on March 30 presented to the city of Mountain View a proposed set of changes to the rent control law just adopted by voters in November 2016 (Measure V). The proponents have asked the city (attorney) to provide a "title and summary" for their proposal to be included in their initiative petition. If the petition is signed by at least 15% of the city's 35,000 registered voters, the proposed law (city charter amendment) would appear on November's ballot.
Although billed as a proposed "reform" of rent control, it is more accurately described as a virtual repeal of the restrictions on rent increases. The proposal contains various tricks to ensure that residential rents would not be limited including that every landlord may seek and obtain rent increases based on the opportunity "cost" of being subject to rent control.
In the 2016 election, I did not personally take a position on Measure V. But I did write the ballot arguments against the deceptive competing measure (W) placed on the same ballot by the landlord-screened and endorsed (as candidates) City Council majority. Even though two members of the council could not seek re-election in 2016 (under the city's two successive term limit), the two candidates who replaced them also oppose any real rent control. Overall, six of seven council members remain beholden to the landlords.
Consequently, even if the landlords' proposal does not gain the 5,500 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, the City Council (majority) could and likely would nonetheless place their proposal (or some other repeal of Measure V) on November's ballot. And this time around, landlords would spare no expense in campaigning to end rent control. Just in Mountain View, with 15,000 affected apartments, rent control is costing landlords the lost opportunity to make hundreds of millions of more dollars in much higher rents from new employees of Silicon Valley corporations.
Solutions for teacher housing
Teachers report housing as their greatest compensation concern second to salary. MVWSD does not have the funds to pay more, but it does have underutilized land. Fixing housing may be an even more valuable tool in retention than salary.
No single solution will fix the housing issue, but a concert of solutions address teachers across the income range:
1) Upper Range: participation on the "Landed" program being supported by Zuckerberg's foundation to help teachers with down payments.
2) Middle Range: Identify underutilized district parcels to build or swap with the city to build (budget neutral, but moderately affordable) teacher housing.
3) Lower Range: Where space exists, allow for tiny home communities on school property. These teacher-bought tiny homes allow for teachers to build equity to go up the housing ladder. All the while they don't lock down district land, nor do they cost the district anything, and can be set up as attractive and cute pocket communities on campuses.
MVWSD has land, unlike MVLA, LASD, or other city workers. Solving the teacher housing crisis for MVWSD will improve retention and teacher recruitment, thereby adding great value to both children and home prices.
Housing may seem out of place for a school district, but when land is its most significant underutilized resource, and housing your teachers' greatest complaint, then it makes sense.
Space Park Way
Trump tax increase
My CPA just gave me my 2017 tax return and did the math to show what impact the Donald J. Trump Tax Increase of 2018 would be if applied to my 2017 taxes. The lies and deception of this so-called tax cut are now in stark relief: an 8.3% tax increase. This large tax increase is second only to the enormous hit I took under President Reagan when his "tax reform" taxed graduate student stipends for the first time.
Incumbent politicians deserve to pay dearly for allowing the Trump Tax Increase of 2018 to double tax Californians and other hard-working Americans. These politicians deserve to pay double-dearly for letting this happen while increasing the budget deficit by over $1 trillion. It is a priority now more than ever for responsible Americans to take back Congress and the White House to establish tax laws that are fair to us and to future generations, without double taxation.
San Rafael Avenue