Letter to the Editor

An incentive idea

San Luis ObispoApril 1, 2014 

Thanks so much for speaking out for the neighborhoods surrounding Cal Poly, John Ashbaugh. As the owner/occupant of a home in Monterey Heights, it does my heart good to hear plans that encourage more mature, more permanent neighbors and fewer transient, young ones. I wish I were more hopeful that Cal Poly might take on a project like yours.

It’s my understanding that the horrendous state of the neighborhoods here in San Luis Obispo can at least in part be credited to Proposition 13. In order to keep tax revenues rising, flipping houses was encouraged. The consequence is that two-thirds of the houses in the city are now rentals.

But how about if the city takes responsibility for shifting it back? Owner occupancy could be incentivized by taxing nonresident owners on any rent they take in over a certain amount, a graduated tax of some sort. Landlords could choose to charge less, which would put more muchneeded reasonably-priced rentals on the market, or they could pay a healthy tax. Owners/occupiers, on the other hand, would be offered a small tax break. Landlords who rent to long-term tenants could be exempt.

Tell me why it wouldn’t work.

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