The fair rate of return standard is a formula based on the growth of a landlord's profit since 2015. It was assumed that in 2015, because rents were unregulated, landlords were making the profits they wanted, a fair rate of return. Under current law, landlords can petition to raise rents if they are not getting their fair rate of return. However, under Measure D, landlords would be able to pass on many upgrade costs to tenants, bypassing the fair rate of return standard. In Measure D, costs that "extend the useful life" of the building may be passed through as rent increases. While these yet-to-be-determined costs may benefit the landlords by improving their buildings, the potential 10% rental increase per year may drive our vulnerable renters from our community, bypassing the fair rate of return standard put in place to protect them.
Also, rent increases are currently limited by the rate of inflation, which has varied between 2.4% and 3.6% since 2012. Measure D allows a 4% annual increase regardless of inflation. Taken together with passing through upgrade costs to tenants, annual rents are more likely to increase by as much as 10% each year.
The League of Women Voters supports rent stabilization and just-cause programs that are fair and reasonable for both landlords and tenants. Because of these significant changes to current law, the LWV urges you to vote no on Measure D.
League of Women Voters of Los Altos-Mountain View
Why fight again?
Definitely no on Measure D.
We have fought this battle before — why fight again? There's a good measure in place, so we don't have to "trust" anyone yet another time!
Outside money is rushing in — why let this influence us? The City Council asks us to trust them — how can we do that when so many council members opposed rent control in the first place?
There were huge rent increases before rent control — earthquake upgrades are necessary, but huge rent increases and tax depreciation should cover so much of these costs.
Why isn't the City Council focusing on those landlords who aren't paying their portion for the administration of the rent control program, rather than focusing on increasing rental costs for renters?
The League of Women Voters of Los Altos-Mountain View says "Vote no on Measure D."
We've already shown unity on this — vote no on Measure D. Say no to this new attempt to change what we've already decided is right!
Proponents of current bond measures, who seem to include those responsible for ballot descriptions, are shy of stating how long the attached taxes are supposed to last.
Assuming a house assessed at $1 million:
•Measure G: 34 years, $160/year, total $5,440.
•Measure H: Five years, $48/parcel, total $240.
•Measure T: 30 years, $300/year, total $9,000.
•Proposition 13: Paid from general funds, various taxes.
For what a wealth tax is like, the property tax on houses is quite, for some of us, painfully informative.
Raymond R. White
New pool at Rengstorff Park
Last month the Parks and Recreation Commission voted to recommend to the City Council a 25-meter pool verses a 50-meter pool to replace the existing pool at Rengstorff Park. Surprisingly, cost was not a major factor in the commission's recommendation. Instead, the reasons cited included aesthetics, space limitations, and greater appeal to non-lap swimmers of a smaller pool. While all the options to replace Rengstorff Pool would be a significant improvement, the once-every-50-plus years chance to replace a pool should be evaluated by its true merits. Some benefits of a 50-meter pool include (1) more lanes, (2) more continuous swimming (which helps with technique and training), and (3) badge of honor for a city (50 meters is Olympic size).
The commission's concerns over aesthetics and space limitations can be addressed through thoughtful design and use of space at the park. A 50-meter pool doesn't need to be a stadium like the Santa Clara Swim Center (e.g. Lynbrook and St. Francis high schools both have 50-meter pools with smaller footprints). Additionally, the extra space of a 50-meter pool could enable multiple programs (lap, classes, and user groups) to operate simultaneously and therefore have broader appeal to residents. Plus, Mountain View is growing, and supporting a larger pool in a community getting more dense each year makes perfect sense.
If you would like a 50-meter public pool in Mountain View, please let the City Council know! The council will address the commission's recommendation on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Our next president
As a voter, ask yourself "What do we really need from our next president?" Do we need a minor course correction? No. This country has been heading in precisely the wrong direction for decades, actively prioritizing the needs of the rich and corporations over the needs of working people and all our citizens not gifted with extreme wealth.
Today we need a profound reboot of our society and its political and economic structures. Amy Klobuchar is known as the "senator of small things." Rebooting our society and redirecting its energies to fight climate change and raise the living standards of all our people are not "small things."
I see Bernie Sanders as the rock-solid soldier who will fight for people's economic security and universal health care. A Green New Deal would provide meaningful work for millions and reduce the looming eco-catastrophe being actively encouraged by our current mis-leader.
This story contains 1021 words.
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