Look for The Hat!
Saturday May 10 will be the last day to sign the citizens initiatives from the Robin Hood Committee at the Berkeley Tenants Union table at the Center Street Farmers Market.
The Windfall Profits Tax on High Rents will increase the business license tax on landlord investors and speculators by 1.9% – the ballot measure will not raise the tax on single family homes, duplexes, and landlords who live in the building and own less than ten units. The increase will not apply to units rented under Section 8 and the measure would eliminate the existing tax on rents from long-term rent-controlled units. This is a tax designed to capture a small portion of the $100 Million a Year in excess profits that investors take from Berkeley renters, and put that 1.9% to use for our most vulnerable citizens.
The Affordable Housing measure addresses the top concern on the recent Community Survey: Berkeley needs to build more affordable housing. This companion measure takes $3.5 million of the Windfall Profits Tax and dedicates it to the Housing Trust Fund. The fund is used by the city, housing developers like Satellite and RCD, limited equity co-ops and student co-ops. The portion of the money from the Windfall Profits Tax dedicated to affordable housing is expect to generate 40 units of Affordable Housing a year for Berkeley.
The Robin Hood measures have been endorsed by BTU Steering, as well as The Green Party of Alameda County, Berkeley Citizen Action (BCA), East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO), Satellite Affordable Housing, Resources for Community Development (RCD), Bay Area Community Land Trust (BACLT), Democratic Socialists of America, Council Members Jesse Arreguin, Kriss Worthington and Max Anderson, Rent Board Chair Lisa Stephens, Vice Chair Harr, Rent Board Commissioners Soto-Vigil, Webster, Shelton, Blake, Dodsworth and Townley, Housing Advisory Commissioners Darrow and Tregub, former School Board leader John T. Selawsky and many more.
Full text of the measures: http://www.fundaffordablehousing.org/
Transfer of wealth from tenants to investors: https://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploadedFiles/Rent_Stabilization_Board/Level_3_-_General/Economic%20Effects%20of%20Rent%20Stabilization%20in%20Berkeley_Cleancopy.pdf