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San Francisco/California

Affordable Housing vs. Local Government Employee Pensions

Jerry Hill, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, writes in an editorial today in the San Mateo Daily News about the very real issues of just not enough affordable housing in the county. He describes all of the problems that result – losing our middle class, our first responders only being able to afford to live in Tracy, not in the county, etc. Then he proposes a solution:

What California needs is to create new means for local governments to raise money to increase the supply of affordable homes.

Ahem. The last time I checked, a disproportionate share of our local taxes paid were increasingly going into funding the increasingly generous retirement plans of local government employees – not to helping pay for additional services, not to helping increase the pool of affordable housing, etc.

I’d say the first problem to be solved here is the one involving where local taxes are actually going. Otherwise, who’s really going to believe local officials like Hill when they promise to apply new funds to serious issues like affordable housing?

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