October 14, 2012

Oh Noes! Politicians hating on mortgage deduction AGAIN!

Tax deduction for mortgage interest could be targeted

By Pete Carey, Posted: 10/12/2012 04:21:11 PM PDT, Updated: 10/12/2012 05:03:23 PM PDT

121013-mortgage-mittSAN FRANCISCO — The mortgage interest tax deduction beloved by many Americans is a logical target for raising revenue to deal with growing deficits, a leading housing economist said Friday.

“For fiscal sustainability, we need to get revenue,” said Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. The alternative to shrinking the tax break is raising taxes, he said at a forum on California’s housing market sponsored by the Lusk Center and the online real estate service Zillow.

“My judgment is it’s better to do something about tax expenditures,” Green said. “One of the largest is the home mortgage interest deduction.”

The issue has been a hot button in the presidential campaign, as Democrats challenge Republicans to disclose what tax “loopholes” they would close to pay for their proposed tax cuts.

We are doomed.  DOOMED!  Once they come for our mortgage deductions, there is no more point to living.

Comments (60) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am






January 29, 2012

Oakland Tribune: SJ, SF are Special, East Bay Ain’t

This article won’t tell you anything you didn’t already know, but it’s interesting to see them admit it.  At least as far as the local economies go, things are much worse in the East Bay than in the SF or SJ Zones of Awesomeness.

South Bay expected to recover lost jobs by 2014; recovery slower in East Bay

By George Avalos, Oakland Tribune
Posted: 01/25/2012 05:48:06 PM PST, Updated: 01/25/2012 09:09:30 PM PST

The current economic boom will be robust enough for the South Bay to recover the jobs it lost during the recession by 2014 — but the East Bay and the San Francisco metro regions might need until at least 2015, the chief economist with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute said Wednesday.

“Every industry in the South Bay is growing except for construction and retail,” said Jon Haveman. “The East Bay is very much hurting, and it may continue to do so for a while.”

Haveman gave his divergent outlooks at a downtown Oakland conference sponsored by Torrey Pines Bank.

One big reason for the differing paces of recovery is that the East Bay tumbled into a much deeper economic abyss, an analysis of state Employment Development Department figures shows.

120126-oakland-fail

The article goes on to say that East Bay job growth during the oughties was fueled by the real estate boom: construction and the mortgage industry.  Alameda and Contra Costa Counties lost 105,000 jobs from peak employment in August, 2007.  Both San Francisco (defined as the City by the Bay plus Marin and San Mateo Counties) and the South Bay (undefined, but including at least Santa Clara County) lost much fewer jobs, which were each in turn a much smaller percentage of jobs lost.

And the conclusion of the article shows that the East Bay will be getting the trickle-down until they reinvent themselves as something other than manufacturing (gone), real estate (gone), or back-office space (still an option).

The best hope for an East Bay economic upswing may be to capture overflow tenants from its neighbors.

“Tech companies are filling spaces in the South Bay and rents are rising,” [director of a realty brokerage Edward] Del Beccaro said. “As office rents rise in San Francisco and Santa Clara County, you will see some companies migrate to the East Bay.”

120127-santana-row-win

Where do you see the job growth in the next few years?  Is President Gingrich going to have us all working on a Moon Colony Program?

 

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:13 am

October 9, 2011

Smaller Companies Squeezed Out of Peninsula

Maybe Facebook isn’t going to save us all.  Maybe it’s going to push rents up so high that only it and Google can afford office space in the Peninsula.

image

Membrane Technologies, other tech firms, shift operations from Peninsula to East Bay

By George Avalos, Oakland Tribune
Posted: 10/06/2011 03:14:56 PM PDT, Updated: 10/06/2011 03:59:22 PM PDT

Membrane Technology & Research is moving its headquarters and other operations to Newark in the latest deal by a company migrating across the bay in search of less expensive offices.

Based in Menlo Park, Membrane Technology has signed a deal to lease 62,000 square feet at Stevenson Point Tech Park I, taking up an entire building at 39630 Eureka Drive.

Membrane will shift about 70 jobs to the new head offices, said Hans Wijmans, Membrane’s CEO.

“We of course hope that the future will bring growth and will require new hires,” Wijmans said.

The company makes membranes that can filter out unwanted substances from industrial operations. The tube-shaped devices can remove carbon dioxide and nitrogen emitted by refineries, coal plants and natural gas facilities.

Take that, Menlo Park!  Newark is poaching your high-tech jobs!  Not only that, this place has explosive growth!

Membrane Technology suffered an explosion at one of its Menlo Park buildings in early September. One man, a company employee, was killed in the blast. Cal-OSHA is investigating the incident.

That sounds exactly like the sort of industry that belongs in Newark!  Way to go!

This is an Open Thread.  Where is your job most likely to relocate to?  What city would you least want it to move to?

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:36 am

February 1, 2011

The Vast Conspiracy to Raise Peninsula Real Estate Prices

And, lower East Bay prices too!  Win-win-win!

Officials push for higher tolls during rush hours on San Mateo, Dumbarton bridges

By Mike Rosenberg, The Oakland Tribune

Posted: 01/31/2011 07:23:07 AM PST, Updated: 01/31/2011 09:26:52 AM PST

imageDrivers crossing the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges would pay higher tolls during rush hours under a plan Peninsula officials are urging Bay Area leaders to adopt.

A group of city, county and transportation officials this week released the new San Mateo Countywide Transportation Plan, which includes support for congestion pricing on the two bridges that connect the Peninsula and East Bay.

"I think it’s a shame they haven’t done congestion pricing," said Rich Napier, executive director of the county’s congestion management agency, which is overseeing the transportation plan. "It does work."

(Photo, above right: Drivers crossing the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges would pay higher tolls during rush hours under a plan Peninsula officials are urging Bay Area leaders to adopt. File photo, The Oakland Tribune.)

Now, some readers of this site are really clever people, and will simply glance at the headline above and figure it out immediately.  Others of you need to be taken by the hand and have a few things spelled out really slowly and carefully.

Congestion pricing, in case you haven’t tried driving across the Bay Bridge during commute hours, means that the toll is higher during rush hour when everyone else is going to work.  At present, Bay Bridge congestion pricing is $6 during peak commute hours and $4 other times.  The San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges have a $5 toll at all times, rush hour or not.

Now, here’s the part you should have already worked out:

Drivers at the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges typically wait less than two minutes to get through the toll booth, according to the Bay Area Toll Authority.

Still, officials said traffic data shows many of the logjams on Highway 101 are caused by commuters who take advantage of cheaper housing in the East Bay and cross the bridges for their jobs in the Peninsula. Slowing traffic on the bridges during the commute could have a ripple effect on Highway 101, where officials have struggled for years to ease bottlenecks, they said.

Ooooh, ripple effect!  Double rainbow all the way!  Across the sky!  By making commuting more expensive or more inconvenient, homes on the Peninsula close to jobs will become even more valuable.  Meanwhile, “cheaper housing in the East Bay” won’t be such a bargain once the commute costs more time and money.  Expect that desirability deficit to work itself into pricing homes in the East Bay if congestion pricing moves to Peninsula bridges.

In related bridge toll news, the Golden Gate bridge authority is getting rid of all their human toll-takers and switching to an all-electronic system.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am