JC rent control ordinance

Dear Editor:

On September 25, 2019, the city council will vote on allowing buildings in redevelopment zones of 25 units or more to be under rent-control, as new construction, they were excluded from the rent control ordinance. These new buildings have already received major tax breaks through abatements and are now many are paying full taxes.

This will be devastating for the small homeowner who is subjected to tax increases from the city, school, and county. Rent control building are not subjected to those increases, tenants in rent-control buildings are under rent-leveling board increases which for September 2019 is 1.7%. Many of these buildings are in Ward E where the one to four family homeowners have seen their taxes increased to $20,000 to $40,000 from the revaluation.

If anything, the city council should amend the rent control ordinance to allow tenants who use public services and sometimes vote yes, as in the open space tax to receive the same tax increases as others. If not, then the burden will be passed again on the small homeowner who is facing massive increases once the business tax reach $80 million. The school shortage from state fund is a gradual step but the impact will be felt in three years because the school system is actually short $200 million.

Besides, this does not solve the problem, the landlords still receive the tax increase but he cannot pass it to his tenants, so he goes to tax court where he wins and the public pays the refunding bond. Once he is tired of the appeals process, he later converts the building into condos. This has happened in the past and rent control buildings disappeared. So, it is just easier to allow taxes to be pass along to tenants similar to regular homeowners.

The real issue is – taxes are too high and it is easier for politicians to fix the problem for one group than to address spending.

Yvonne Balcer