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Eminent Domain, Props 98 & 99

Original post made by R Wray on May 14, 2008

Looking at the Voter Information Guide and Sample Ballot for the June 3rd election, I notice an interesting ploy going on with Props 98 & 99. Both relate to limits on the government authority with respect of eminent domain.
In schematic form, Prop 98 limits A, B and C. Prop 99 limits A. Prop 99, however, includes a clause that declares 98 void if 99 gets more votes than 98 (assuming both 98 & 99 pass).
Suppose, for example, that 98 passes, say by 90% of the votes. This means that the voters want limits A, B & C by a wide margin. But if 99 gets 90% plus one vote, it eliminates 98 and we get only limit A. As a voter, I hate it when politicians play with us like this.
I'm in favor of property rights, so I will vote for Prop 98 and against Prop 99 since I want limits A, B & C. However, the way this is setup, Prop 99 is bound to get more votes than 98, so enacting the Prop 98 limits doesn't stand a chance even if a large majority votes for them. This is a crude joke on the voters by our Sacramento politicians.

Comments (8)

Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm

It is crafty, though not so sure it will work. Voters are not so dumb (well, not all the time). BTW, I wouldn't blame the pols - it was special interests (specifically rent control supporters) that put 99 on the ballot.


Posted by Vote yes 98, no 99, a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm

You got it. It is a disgusting and shameless manipulation by our demagogues who believe, perhaps rightfully, that they can fool us.

Vote FOR 98, and AGAINST 99 or we will end up with a complete lack of change.

99 is basically no change at all from what we have now, which is the ability of towns to decide they want more of a tax base, so they can simply take some areas of town, and give them to private developers who will bring in more taxes to the town.

What country is this?


Posted by Vote yes 98, no 99, a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Terry, perhaps you are right.

Of course, rent control is the surest way to send an area into a downward spiral.

I probably didn't even have to read the measures, just read who is for and against each measure...


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm

I'm sure there is much written, but here's an article from the SF Chronicle on some of the dynamics with 98/99 Web Link

I'll lived through rent de-control in Boston and New York. Nothing but a blessing for both of those towns, which the voters were wise enough to see.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2008 at 6:56 pm

I'd only vote for these propositions if they repealed Proposition 13 which is basically "rent control" for property owners.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 7:04 pm

True that!


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 11:51 pm

The best, and only effective rent control is a 5% vacancy rate.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2008 at 8:15 am

Ditto for housing prices. Repeal proposition 13. Get more turnover in housing and prices will be controlled. Stop the subsidy for homeowners.


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