#SanFrancisco’s white elites live virtually tax free

Screenshot 2017-12-04 at 06.35.51Not only did the residents of San Francisco’s exclusive Presidio Terrace win back their gated street — they also get to keep their bargain-basement tax rate of $4.28 a year for the private roadway and sidewalks.

Nullifying the city treasurer’s 2015 tax sale means that Tina Lam and Michael Cheng of San Jose will get back the $90,100 that they paid for the street in an online auction in 2015.

The couple bought the public areas of the gated neighborhood at a city tax auction in 2015, only to have the Board of Supervisors undo the sale Nov. 28.

rawimage1It also means that the street’s property tax — which went unpaid for 15 years because the city was sending the bill to the address of a long-retired accountant — reverts to $4.28 a year. Had the supervisors voted to let the sale stand, the property tax would have been $1,054 a year.

Future increases will be limited to the 2 percent a year allowed under Proposition 13.

It’s safe to say Lam and Cheng saw more value in a prime piece of real estate than $362. Their lawyer says they’re thinking of suing.

San Francisco Chronicle

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