A Bay Area developer wants to build 4,400 homes where they may be sorely needed. Here's why it won't happen

Just beyond San Francisco’s city limits lies 640 acres of land that could help solve some of California’s biggest problems.

A developer wants to build 4,400 new homes there — one of the largest projects recently proposed in one of the country’s most unaffordable regions. The development would overlook a railway that drops riders into the heart of San Francisco in 15 minutes, reducing the need for cars and cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that come from them.

State and regional leaders have endorsed the project. But its fate rests with Brisbane, a city of 4,700 people that annexed the property 55 years ago. And no one, not even the developer, thinks Brisbane’s residents will approve all 4,400 homes.

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Because of tax limits established in 1978 by Proposition 13, local governments generally receive more revenue from sales and hotel room taxes than property taxes. Proposition 13 limited property tax rates to 1% of a home’s taxable value and restricted how quickly that taxable value could increase after a purchase.

Last year, Brisbane hired a consultant who found that the city would net $1 million a year in tax revenue by approving the Baylands. But if the city instead approved a project with lots more commercial space, a larger hotel and no housing, Brisbane would gain $9 million annually — an amount equivalent to more than half the city’s current day-to-day operating budget.

Developers are always going to face opposition because of residents’ concerns about their communities changing, said Mark Stivers, a longtime state housing policy staffer. But the tax system is another big reason the state has a housing shortage, he said.

Cry me some crocodile tears:

Salmon said she understood housing problems were real and lamented the lack of space to accommodate a growing population.

“I do feel sorry that the younger generation is not going to get to live the life that we did,” she said. “But it’s a different time.”

Sorry youngsters. I got my house so sorry you can’t get any. But it’s for your own good anyway…

That’s such a BS excuse. The cities I’ve looked at get 4-5% increases in property tax revenue each year. That’s well above inflation, so it shouldn’t create a budget issue. The issue is irresponsible spending.

It’s a matter of incentive. You are presented two options. Option A gets you 1M and triples the size of your town. Option B gets you 9M, and you keep the spoils all to yourself.

Which option you expect cities to take?

What if we flip the numbers? Option A gives you 9M and Option B gives you 1M. You don’t expect behaviors will change? At least on the margin?

Prop 13 is the best regulation in CA.

Nimby has nothing to do with prop 13.

Prop 13 is the best regulation for Seattle, Austin, Denver and Dallas. We are shipping jobs there that should have been ours.

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Nope. Calfornia has too much tax, not too little.

Jobs are leaving due to liberal policies. Prop 13 has nothing to do with it. Some liberals are fishing for more tax revenue but prop 13 is supported by poor and middle class people. Liberals pipe dream will be a sure failure

Sure. Slogans are easy to shout out. Policies need thoughts grounded in reality.

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California should implement a tax cut and make it business friendly.

Housing should be ok, just have a state policy to prevent SF’s restrictive planning code and remove BMR requirement. Construction boom will follow immediately.

We need a governor who will promise a tax cut and spending control, pension reform. Not an expensive property tax.

If liberals want more tax, personal income or a rich income tax is easier than increasing property tax. Property tax is supper important to lower and middle class. I think rich people would like a higher property tax and lower income tax. Those rich liberals will anger the lower and middle class voters if they want to increase property tax

Is there any American on this forum understanding English? Man! So much jumble and mumble, the dead letters say it all.

I am going to repeat, one more time, what a guy told me years ago when he heard me complaining about something in this country, and it applies to people in California complaining of whatever related to real estate…If you don’t like it here, leave!

Prop 13 isn’t why permits run $75-150k per unit. It’s also not hindering property tax revenue from growing faster than inflation. Imagine what rents would be without it. If landlords couldn’t increase rents to offset property tax increases, then you wouldn’t have rental properties. Every apartment building would be converted to condos and sold.