The Public Cost of Privately-owned Affordable Housing
The City of Palo Alto usually processes each new affordable housing project as if it werean “isolated incident”—rarely, if ever, showing us what the total costs of these projectsmight be. This “big picture” involves looking at “externalities” (often considered ashidden/future costs), or the exemption from taxes—which effectively shifts the cost of government services from one group to another.The so-called Maybell Orchard project gives us a chance to look at the Palo Alto HousingCorporation (PAHC) (a non-profit agency which was created with the assistance of theCity Council in 1970)
in terms of its taxable properties, its tax liability and long-term taxavoidance. The table below was generated by taking the properties listed on the PAHCweb-site and determining the assessment of each property on the Santa Clara CountyAssessors web-site. Under Prop.13, taxes are one percent (1%) of assessed value, so thetax liability is easily derived.
Arguments Opposing the Maybell Orchard/Measure D BallotProposition
The Measure D arguments seem to be falling into four general areas: 1) Site Specific(traffic increases, safety, quality-of-life) 2) Opposition to High Densification/PC-zoningAbuse, 3) Transparent and Sustainable Government Finances, and 4) Immigration-relatedissues. This paper speaks to some of the issues involved with Transparent andSustainable Government Finances. While many Palo Altans might be inclined to seeonly one, or two, of this grouping of arguments, it’s important to point out that all of these issues are involved directly, or indirectly, in opposition to this housing project being proposed for Barron Park.
Palo Alto Housing Corporation Property Tax Data
2507-2533Alma Street(650) 853-1788
3445 AlmaStreet1 & 2BR