It’s good to be the king or, failing that, rich

Some may recall a post of mine from back in August that dealt with how the extremely wealthy people living along a private street known as Presidio Terrace in San Francisco failed to pay the appropriate taxes for it and the city went ahead and sold the street at auction to a couple of investors who planned to charge the residents for parking. Naturally, this caused an outrage.

Well, it turns out that the residents had enough clout to nullify the auction and return ownership to the residents, saying the failure to pay was an understandable oversight, even though it had occurred before.

The Board of Supervisors split 7-4 on the move, with those in favor saying residents of Presidio Terrace had not received enough notice before their sidewalks, street and common areas were sold at auction in 2015.

Supervisor Mark Farrell, who represents the district, said it was not good policy to allow out-of-town land “speculators” to swoop in on law-abiding property owners who simply did not know they owed tax on their street.

He agreed the homeowners’ due process rights were violated when the tax collector sent tax bills to an outdated address. The association had failed to update its mailing address.

Shepard Kopp, attorney for the buyer, said in a statement he was disappointed in the supervisors who sided with the association.

“Sadly, the seven members of the Board who voted to rescind this sale have demonstrated that you get a different standard of government in San Francisco if you are rich and politically connected,” he wrote in a statement.

What did Kopp expect? What is so unusual about a system where if you are poor and happen to miss a scheduled payment for any reason, you can expect all manner of dire consequences, but if you are wealthy you can have the rules changed in your favor?

This is the American way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *