May 28, 2012

Official Burbed Ballot Guide

120527-voters-guide-stickerNext Tuesday will be Primary Election Day in California.  Not only will voters get to select partisan candidates, there will also be some ballot measures to vote on.  Here are our recommendations on how to vote if you value living in the Real Bay Area.

Primary election procedure has changed this year.  Before Proposition 14, which passed in 2010, one winning candidate per party appeared on the November ballot. Now all primary elections are a free-for-all whittled down to the top two finishers, who will duke it out in November for the contested office.  Burbed officially disapproves of this method.  Instead, primary elections should be more like buying a house.  Whoever offers the most money with the fewest contingencies should be chosen as the winner, although a plate of chocolate cookies and a family photo may also do the trick.

Federal, State & Local Candidates

120527-voters-guide-white-housePresident: Does it matter?  Is the White House in the Real Bay Area?  No, it is not.  Is Barack Obama from the Real Bay Area?  No.  Is Mitt Romney?  No, and he owns enough houses that he should be!  Neither Ron Paul nor Gary Johnson qualify either.

Senate: Does it matter?  Is the Senate Building in the Real Bay Area?  No, it is not.  But wait, you may say.  While the Senate Building is in Washington, DC, many of the Senatorial candidates actually do live in the Real Bay Area.  To which we say, and?  You want to vote for someone who lives in the RBA and is willing to move to a job somewhere else?  This disqualifies them by definition!

House of Representatives: See Senate.

State and Local Offices: As none of them requested our endorsement, we offer no recommendations.  Then again, if anyone had requested our endorsement, that would disqualify by definition.  Who would ask for a real estate website’s endorsement?  Well, who other than Gary Miller?

State Propositions

120527-voters-guide-29Proposition 28: Term limit modification. Vote NO.  This does not affect property values, although it may lead to more turnover of Sacramento property.  Since Sacramento isn’t in the RBA, this won’t affect prices here. 

Proposition 29: Tobacco tax.  Vote YES.  Burbed is in favor of taxing things that are not housing in order to avoid unnecessarily raising property taxes instead.  Also we are opposed to any industry spending $40 million on misleading advertising.  Did you really think those actors in lab coats were actual scientists?

Santa Clara County Measures

120527-voters-guide-jailMeasure A: County Jail operations.  Vote NO.  This looks like an opportunity to let any number of agencies get their fingers in the jail pie, and by “opportunity” we actually mean “payola, corruption, and graft, oh my!”  Do we really need a County Jail anymore?  There are so many foreclosed homes in East San Jose we should just use them instead.

Measure B: San Jose pensions. Burbed does not have an official position on this, but has enjoyed the complete disconnect between how the SJ Mercury News has been covering this (Chuck Reed walks on water and raises the dead) versus NBC11 (Chuck Reed is a lying scumbag who eats babies for breakfast).  The truth is probably that there is nothing in the pension fund at all because it was all invested in that downtown condo tower that didn’t work out so well.

Various school bond measures (C, E, G, H): Vote YES, except for Measure E, because who do you think you’re fooling, Milpitas?  Better funded schools ensure your property values remain high (and if you live in Milpitas, this clearly does not apply).  If you’re a rentard, vote YES anyway.  Someday you’ll own.  (Keep believing that.)  You may object that we said above to vote for taxes for other things because we don’t want higher property taxes.  To which we reply, are you some kind of rentard idiot?  These are school BONDS, not school TAXES.  Bonds mean borrow and spend, not tax and spend.  Note: School bonds must receive 55% YES votes to pass.

Plenty more County Ballot Measures inside!  Click on through!

San Mateo County Measures

Measure S: Vote YES.  It’s a school bond, so see above.  Oh, wait, it’s in Half Moon Bay.  Like we expect a place that was openly talking about disincorporating to vote for more debt.  Note: 55% YES vote required to pass.

Measure T: Car rental tax.  Vote YES. Who rents vehicles?  Business travelers and tourists, that’s who.  Let them pay taxes (because you know the businesses will pass this tax along) so you don’t have to on your house.

Measure U: Transient occupancy tax.  Vote YES.  Looks like those Occupy Wall Street West types are going to have their tents taxed.

120527-voters-guide-portola-valleyMeasure V: Road maintenance.  Vote NO.  This is a Portola Valley parcel tax.  People do not move to Portola Valley because they admire the roads.  They move there because of the big lots and the good schools and the wealthy neighbors.  And you’re not going to stay rich when you’re getting nickled and dimed and three hundred dollared by parcel taxes.

Measures W and Y: School parcel tax.  Vote YES.  Burbed always recommends voting for school funding, no matter what, because it helps keep your house Special.  Oh, wait, this is Redwood City and Daly City.  Never mind.  Note: Parcel taxes must receive 2/3 YES votes to pass.

Measures X and Z: Parking business tax, Police & Fire parcel tax.  Vote NO.  Burbed is opposed to trying to pay for County services by taxing anything that moves, and recommends repealing Prop 13 instead.

Santa Cruz County Measures

120527-voters-guide-potSchool parcel taxes (I, J, K).  Vote YES, but you’re more likely to raise money getting those hippies to tax their own marijuana if you promise to stop arresting them.

Measure C: School bonds.  This appears to be the same Measure C as the one above in Santa Clara County, for West Valley and Mission Collages.  Which means we are allowing Santa Cruz County residents to use our community colleges.  Somebody who drew up the district lines doesn’t understand this word “community.”

120527-voters-guide-coitSan Francisco Measures

Measure A:  Garbage. Vote NO.  Like the Santa Clara jail measure, this measure is trying to do too many things at once.  Burbed in particular is opposed to requiring garbage be processed in San Francisco.  Garbage processing facilities located in SF should be sold, torn down, and filled with luxury housing.

Measure B: Coit Tower policies. Why the hell does this have to be put up to a vote?  Isn’t setting policy the City Council’s job?  Burbed votes to take away the vote from San Francisco residents, fire the entire City Council, and have Ed Lee flip a coin.

Marin County Measures

120527-voters-guide-smfMeasure A: School parcel tax, Ross.  Vote YES.  Note: 2/3 YES vote required to pass.

Various public safety measures (B, C, E): Vote NO.  If it isn’t a school tax, Burbed is against it.  Nothing else will increase the value of your property.  Do you think when people are considering what house to buy they say, “Let’s buy in Ross!  They just put in a new thousand dollar parcel tax to make sure they have top-scoring police and fire departments!”

Measure D: Sausalito annexation. Vote NO.  This concerns putting the city into a Fire District.  There’s too much fog and rain in Marin County to worry about fires, and Sausalito is, last time we checked, right on the water anyway.

Alameda County Measures

Various school parcel taxes (B, G, H): Vote YES, as if you think any of these would pass.  School parcel taxes only pass where it’s Special.  And maybe if you want to live somewhere Special, you should start by voting to improve your schools.  With that 2/3 vote required, the only question is by how much these are going to fail.

120527-voters-guide-911Measure C: 911 half cent sales tax. Vote NO.  There is no tax more regressive than a sales tax.  While Burbed is against unnecessary property taxes, we are even more opposed to sales taxes, which disproportionately affect low-income people.  Instead, Burbed proposes a tax on rentards.  Note: 2/3 YES vote required.

Measure E: Dublin school bonds.  Vote YES.  As if it matters.  Note: 55% YES vote required.

Contra Costa County Measures

All the ballot measures for CoCoCo are in the sticks.  That is, they are not within reasonable commuting distance to Google, nor are they ever going to be part of the RBA, so we really don’t care.  As it is, we barely deign to acknowledge Pleasanton.

Napa, Solano, and Sonoma County Measures

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

15 Responses to “Official Burbed Ballot Guide”

  1. Real Estater Says:

    Thanks for creating this write-up Madhaus. The research effort is self-evident; however, I must say I disagree on the school parcel taxes. In recent years, one parcel tax after another have been put forth. Meanwhile, the government is shedding its responsibility to fund the schools. I say no more parcel taxes. Supporters of local schools have plenty of opportunity to donate to one of the many fund raising campaigns that take place every school year. There is no reason to place the burden of school funding on homeowners. Renters use the schools just as much as the home owners. Homeowners are providing a service to renters so that their kids can go to school. What we need is a rental tax. Renters should pay tax just as homeowners do. We have sales tax, property tax, why not a rent tax? After all, this is a democracy where everyone should have equal rights.

  2. SEA Says:

    “What we need is a rental tax. Renters should pay tax just as homeowners do.”

    In case you have not noticed, rent includes property taxes.

  3. nomadic Says:

    If we repeal Prop 13(at least for rental and commercial property) then the renters would even pay an equitable amount.

  4. SEA Says:

    #3- With Prop 13 in mind, do renters pay more or less?

  5. nomadic Says:

    #4, what do you think? If commercial property owners (or junior, who inherited his rental with its low assessment from pops) paid more property tax, do you suppose rents would increase?

  6. SEA Says:

    Renters enjoy Prop 13 more than the most recent buyers.

  7. Tom Stone Says:

    That’s the most accurate and thoughtful coverage of Sonoma County ballot measures I have seen to date. I wish I was joking…

  8. Jb Says:

    Great post … Because I guess while not residing in the RBA (close! I can see it across the bay!) I agree on your take on things – school parcel taxes in particular. We have a big real estater faction in our community (who needs more money for schools? Make Sacramento pay)….as if that would work. How people fail to see the direct link schools = home value (Orinda? Piedmont? Moraga?) is beyond me.

  9. Working Poor Says:

    We don’t need no education in the East Bay! I agree with Real Estater. Enough taxes already!

  10. Yo Says:

    No more taxes for me. Its time to milk a different cow. Rental tax sounds reasonable.

  11. Faux Estater Says:

    I say no more parcel taxes.

    Poor Real Frustrated Estater, don’t you love parcel tax?

  12. Faux Estater Says:

    Meanwhile, the government is shedding its responsibility to fund the schools.
    There is no reason to place the burden of school funding on homeowners.


    We definitely don’t need to burden homeowners. Because CEO/CFO/CTO parents already started donating funds “directly to these schools”. It’s “100% targeted and highly efficient”. That’s way, state shedding its responsibility is a true bliss.

    Ooops, CEO/CFO/CTO parents don’t send their kids to public schools. Only Real Estaters do.

  13. Yo Says:

    Yo man, you like taxes or what? You get tax deduction when you donate man.

  14. Somebecca Says:

    Hey! We live in CoCoCo, and my husband commutes to Google. It’s not like we could afford to live near Google. 😛

    We have a parcel tax for West County schools on the ballot too.

  15. Crissa Says:

    I gotta say, I’d vote for a fire services tax… Mostly because I kinda want to keep my house. And the insurance costs when they start redlining neighborhoods into Calfire territory is horrible.

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