Rent control

Oregon Likely to Become the First in the Nation to Adopt Statewide Rent Control

And that will probably make housing less affordable, not more.

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Gerry Villani/Dreamstime.com

As home and rental prices rise across the country, more and more locales are giving serious consideration to a policy long denounced by economists: rent control. That includes Oregon, which increasingly looks likely to become the first state in the country to adopt rent control statewide.

"We are long past the point when we should have passed meaningful tenant protections," state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D–Portland) says to Willamette Week. "Clearly more needs to be done statewide to give renters more security and stability."

Kotek, along with her counterpart in the state Senate, Ginny Burdock (D–Portland), have introduced SB 608, which would forbid landlords from increasing rents during the first year of a person's tenancy and would cap future rent increases at seven percent per year plus inflation thereafter.

These caps would apply to all rental properties save for those built within the last 15 years, and for landlords who are providing reduced rents as part of some sort of government housing program.

There are no vacancy controls in SB 608, meaning that landlords would be able to raise rents an unlimited amount once a tenant moves out. For this reason, the bill also bans no-cause evictions: A landlord will have to show a government-approved reason for kicking a tenant out.

These are all controversial policies in Oregon, where there is a state-level preemption on cities passing their own rent control measures, and where a no-eviction bill died in the legislature just two years ago.

There're also risky policies, says Mike Wilkerson of ECONorthwest, an economics consulting firm.

"You'd be hard-pressed to find any economist who comes out in favor of rent control as a means to help improve whatever failure you are experiencing," whether that's a lack of supply or rapid rent hikes, says Wilkerson.

Economists' chief complaint about rent control is that it reduces the return a landlord or developer can earn from throwing up new units, meaning you'll wind up with fewer overall units, worsening housing affordability in the long run.

This holds true for what is being proposed in Oregon, says Wilkerson, though the specifics of SB 608—particularly its 15-year exemption of new buildings and its 7 percent cap—complicate the picture.

"Being able to increase rent at whatever you want for the first 15 years, that doesn't really impact the financial feasibility of getting that building built," says Wilkerson. That means the minority of developers who plan on constructing rental units and then operating them in perpetuity would be less likely to be deterred from going through with a project.

The policy would have a greater impact on the majority of developers who construct buildings with the intention of selling them off to investors. The longer-term caps on rent increases reduce how much those investors are willing to pay for a project. That lowers returns for developers looking to sell, thus dissuading many of them from going through with the projects in the first place.

There's also the risk that rent control would give the owners of existing rental properties an incentive to take the properties off the market entirely.

While SB 608 bans no-cause evictions, it does allow a landlord to evict tenants if they plan on renovating a unit or moving into it themselves. That leaves open the door for landlords to kicks tenants out, renovate units, and then put them back on the market as condominiums that they can sell for whatever price they want.

A 2018 Stanford study of rent control in San Francisco found that the city's supply of rental housing fell by 15 percent as owners converted their rent-controlled properties into pricier condos. Citywide rents went up, not down.

If you want housing to be more affordable, the thing you really want is more supply.

Indeed, in Portland—the largest city in Oregon—record apartment construction in the last two years has resulted in a fall in rents. According to the website Apartment List, year-over-year rents in Portland declined by 1.2 percent and are likely to keep falling.

ECONorthwest estimates that only 5 percent of buildings in Portland increased rents above what would be allowed by SB 608 in 2018. That compares to 25 percent of buildings in 2015 and 2016.

If Oregon policymakers wanted to keep the ball rolling, they should look at policies that would make housing construction even easier.

Some of that is already on the table. At the end of last year, Kotek floated the idea of upzoning urban areas where currently only single-family homes are permitted. If passed, that would allow a greater number of multi-family buildings to be built.

As a new report from the Cascade Policy Institute shows, Oregon also maintains aggressive urban growth boundaries, which prevent rural and agricultural land near cities from being redeveloped into housing. Ditching these would allow for a lot more suburban development across the state, bringing prices down.

All of those policies would be far preferable to rent control. Unfortunately, it looks like rent control is what Oregon is likely to get.

In addition to having the support of the Democratic leadership in the legislature, SB 608 was endorsed by Gov. Kate Brown this week. Willamette Week reports that the legislature as a whole has become more amenable to rent control, and that some landlord associations—historically the biggest critics of rent control—are staying neutral on this bill.

That bodes well for the bill. It does not bode well for affordable housing in Oregon.

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131 responses to “Oregon Likely to Become the First in the Nation to Adopt Statewide Rent Control

  1. I don’t understand why politicians don’t understand. Has there ever been a case where rent control actually resulted in the politicians’ stated goals?

    1. stated goals or graft goals?

    2. Simple. The right people weren’t doing it before.

      1. That’s always the excuse. “Yeah, it’s never worked before but this time we’ll get it right…” And people buy the crap. They actually believe politicians can fix anything despite the fact they rarely succeed.

    3. Any politician who thinks rent control is a good idea should be mocked as mercilessly as that Congressblob who was worried that Guam might capsize if too many troops were stationed there.

    4. Well, I haven’t researched it, but I’m sure there are plenty of cases where rent control has resulted in politicians getting re-elected.

    5. I don’t recall details, but when I’ve read of the specific rent control measures in other big cities, they were WAY worse than this.

      So while this is pointless, it probably won’t do much real harm. It’s like the federal minimum wage at this point… It’s basically below the market minimum wage pretty much everywhere in the country, so it really doesn’t make much difference. In Idaho (I’m thinking of moving there), there is no minimum wage, so federal applies. The lowest advertised jobs I saw when seeing what beater jobs paid there (I own a business, need employees, etc) were $8-9+ an hour. That was for fast food starting pay, or other nothing jobs.

      ONLY raising rents 8-10% a year (it is 7% + inflation) is basically the same. It’s more than would typically be possible in the market anyway.

      1. You assume a static market.

        What if they follow this up with a bunch of heavy land use restrictions?

        Actually, strike that.

        What about when they follow this up with a bunch of heavy land use restrictions?

        1. They already had the heavy land use restrictions. There’s an invisible line on the ground, one side for development, one side for farms.

      2. You are operating under the mistaken belief that in 2 years they won’t change to 5%+inflation and buildings that are 10 years old. 2 years later it will be 2.5%+inflation and 5 years old.

        Within 10 years it will be capped at 2% (with no inflation adjustment) and apply to any rental regardless of age.

        1. Quite possibly. I mean things like this should be fought on principle every time anyway. But if it goes in as is, and doesn’t get changed, it won’t be that bad. The slippery slope is always there though once the levy breaks!

    6. I’m really hoping enough is enough with the public soon. The progressives have got to go.

  2. meaningful tenant protections likely not meaningful nor protective of tenants.

    1. ^This.
      Ever notice that the cities which have the most “meaningful tenant protection” have the worst housing shortages?

      And it’s not because cities with problems pass the laws. Lots of these schemes have been in place for many decades, and still aren’t working. NYC rent control was a running joke long before Monica Geller was squatting in her grandmother’s apartment on Friends, and you still can’t afford to live there.

      1. “Ever notice that the cities which have the most “meaningful tenant protection” have the worst housing shortages?”

        Because people WANT to live there. Portland’s rental shortage arose because Portland was receiving very high in-migration.

        Rent control helps people who are already in place, at the expense of people who haven’t yet arrived.

        1. Until the people that are there want to move across town to a bigger place, or buy a place, etc. Then they’re fucked because harsh enough rent control measures can severely constrict the amount of new housing built. As I said above, this one isn’t actually too bad as it’s not that restrictive. But the ones in SF or NYC have borked things good.

          1. “Until the people that are there want to move across town to a bigger place”

            That’s what I said.

            ” or buy a place”

            Rent control makes it less desirable to own rental property. So it increases the supply of housing available to buy.

        2. Then it’s a measure that should probably be limited to Portland. Something like this doesn’t make any sense west of the I-5 corridor.

          1. Portland IS west of I-5.

            1. Corridor…

              How does language work????

              1. Keep working at it until you find out.

  3. Why don’t they just make other states pay for a wall?

    1. Walls are immoral. They need to build a fence.

      1. Magic force field

  4. “Clearly more needs to be done statewide to give renters more security and stability.”

    Because if something is still broke, it’s clearly because you’re not doing enough.

  5. OT: Man tries semen to cure his backpain.

    Obviously, he didn’t do it right.

    1. I AM NOT clicking on that… But WTF.

    2. Did Tony offer to help out some semen on his back?

  6. “Being able to increase rent at whatever you want for the first 15 years, that doesn’t really impact the financial feasibility of getting that building built,” says Wilkerson.

    I say otherwise. Owners who want to sell their 14 year old apartment block to finance a new apartment block will not get nearly as much as the would without this bill. That’s going to reduce the quantity and quality of new apartment blocks.

    Fuck, gents, it’s the same old story: Artificial price controls disrupt and distort markets. It’s an easy concept. Unfortunately, every concept is easy for statists to ignore.

    1. Let’s say they want to hold onto that property: pretty common to seek financing where your amortization is longer than 15 years. Say your 15 years is up and you have 10 years remaining on your loan and your interest rate goes up and by now you have deferred maintenance to take care of. I’d say that scenario could certainly impact financial feasibility.

    2. In theory, yes. But not really with the particulars of this bill.

      The rent increases allowed are basically as high as ANY market EVER goes even during booms. Seattle, SF, Portland, etc have hit 10% or a smidge above in our hottest years. But even during this latest boom, many years were only 6-8%. Since it’s 7% + inflation, it won’t be THAT big a hit for a current owner or potential buyer. Plus all booms come to an end.

      If market rents outpace the max by a couple percent a year, basically a year or two after the boom stops, and growth goes to something more normal, will be enough to put you in line with the market if you continue to raise the max.

      So yes it’s bullshit… But they didn’t cap it at something REALLY bad like 2% a year, or no real increase allowed, just the rate of inflation, etc.

      1. “The rent increases allowed are basically as high as ANY market EVER goes even during booms.”

        Rents in Portland increased by substantially more than that over the last 5 years. The total is around 100% cumulative over that span.

        1. Do you know how compounding percentages work? I live in Seattle, and we’ve seen the same or worse. If you look at any YEAR OVER YEAR increase, it’s only topped the ~10% mark a couple years, and just barely.

          After several years of this law versus free market, you’ll end up maybe a year behind, maybe two, versus falling a decade behind with more aggressive forms of rent control. This may distort for a period, but not by much. That’s my only point.

      2. I don’t see much “control” in 7% plus inflation.

        Here in British Columbia it is 2.5% yearly plus inflation but our new socialist government eliminated the inflation part, so it’s only 2.5% for 2019. They were even contemplating “vacancy control” – banning rent increases when tenants moved out.

        Welcome to Canada!

  7. “”thus dissuading many of them from going through with the projects in the first place.”

    Feature, not a bug.

    By pushing out private investors and contactors it may very well cause problems with future construction. This is when government takes over to claim they are saving the day.

  8. As someone who does not live in Oregon, I actually welcome this development. A statewide policy could go badly enough to discourage similar efforts elsewhere. Typical big-city rent control faces a different set of policy incentives that don’t communicate the failure as visibly to the economically-benighted masses.

  9. Anti-supply laws are very effective. And to econ ignoramuses, a lower supply must mean lower costs, right?

    1. That’s the sort of thing they taught AOC at Boston University. Granting her a degree in economics that is less valuable than the toilet paper I use to wipe my ass.

  10. Policymakers complain about STEM, but really, financial and economic literacy in this country is far poorer and far more important.

    1. ^this.

      Over 90% of people do not know the concepts of comparative advantage and deadweight loss, to mention just 2 basic ideas.

  11. “If you want housing to be more affordable, the thing you really want is more supply”

    What you really need is oppressive regulations that serve as a barrier to new housing. Take San Francisco, for example. If you take into account the rent that homeless people pay ($0/month), the average rent in the city is quite reasonable.

    1. Amd when you factor in all,the free fecal decor in the street, it’s a real win-win.

  12. Course they could just restructure their property tax so it is an actual land tax and solve a ton of land/housing related problems

    But that will go over like a turd in the punch bowl at the local country club.

    1. JFree|1.18.19 @ 5:41PM|#
      “Course they could just restructure their property tax so it is an actual land tax and solve a ton of land/housing related problems”

      Yes, because distorting the market in whole new ways will solve all the problems.
      Idiot.

      1. Yeah you’re right. Reducing taxes on capital/labor is always such a crappy option to the rentier class.

        1. Not to mention all those owners of parking lots and golf courses who will simply up and move their land to somewhere else

          1. And so people will park where? Oh right. You want to get rid of cars too.

            1. the land will be developed into whatever produces the best income in that location. Rather than being held in a state of underdevelopment in order to speculate on future land prices because the owner is getting the benefits of city ‘location’ spending (say roads that provide access to that parking lot) while surrounding owners pay for that as they develop their properties.

              All you’re really admitting is that – hmm – parking lots ARE probably a rather low-value development – compared to say housing supply. You’re probably right. Hence the focus of the article – Oregon may currently have a problem with (or is at least concerned about) housing supply not a lack of subsidized parking spaces.

              1. Sounds like slaver talk.

    2. I’ll bite. Are you referring to a Georgian land tax, not counting developments? I have some serious questions.

      How do you differentiate, say, Manhattan parcels vs West Texas ranches? A facile answer is that local jurisdictions set the tax, but even small jurisdictions have parcels which vary in usefulness — hills or swamps or lakes you can’t build on, land near transit vs remote land; location, location, location always matters to people.

      How do you actually determine the value of bare land, when so much of it is developed? Why not just go by market value?

      I long ago decided that property tax is about the least intrusive tax possible. Consumption and income taxes have vast reporting requirements and need vast intrusive bureaucracies to validate them. A property tax can be anonymous; all the owner needs is a receipt for the tax to prove it is paid, if the State ever deciedes to argue about it.

      As for valuation, I think you could get by with self-assessed value, as long as the value had meaning, such as a cap on damages from insurance companies or criminals or civil suits.

      1. We should just do what the Chinese do. No land ownership, just a 70 year lease.

        1. That is also essentially the model of ‘Jubilee’ in the Old Testament. Every 50 years all debts and individual ownership is eliminated and everyone returns to the specific tribal land allocated to the tribe by God and lives off the land for one year (the jubilee year). Biggest difference is that the Jubilee was everything clears/restarts at the same time which creates a real mess in economic terms.

        2. If we’re going to talk about insane reformation of taxes… I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to horrendously high death taxes, provided income taxes etc were eliminated or dramatically reduced.

          There is a BIT of a problem of the rentier class/hereditary aristocracy in all societies. I know several people who are total morons who will inherit vast fortunes, some in the 10s of millions.

          They didn’t do anything useful with their lives, and are total idiots. Their parents were very useful citizens though.

          So a huge death tax might not be a horrible way to allow productive people to be MORE productive during their lives, but to shaft their potentially useless children. If their children aren’t useless, then they’ll get right back to building that still considerable family fortune again, and likewise be taxed less the whole time too.

          There are worse incentive structures if we’re not worrying about moral principles or whatever!

          1. whether the name is death tax or estate tax, for most the result is no government tax bite.
            People will adapt their personal holdings to conform to whatever the law currently allows. Currently I own my checking account. Everything else is in trust, from which I can disburse funds, properties, or whatever, to myself, heirs, or into my checking account. Once I pass, the trust lives, and is not subject to death taxes.

            1. Yup. One can design laws that are actually coherent too though, making it harder/near impossible to skate. We have all these loopholes because politicians and their donors want the loopholes for themselves.

              Not advocating for a death tax, just saying compared to some of our other horrible taxes, they’re perhaps not the worst in the world. We DEFINITELY don’t need a death tax stacked on top of all our other horrible stuff though.

      2. “I’ll bite. Are you referring to a Georgian land tax, not counting developments? I have some serious questions.”

        JFree’s never referred to it by a name, but the last ‘explanation’ some time back seemed to be biased toward social engineering, so I’ll be waiting for a response also.

      3. Yes that sort of tax but not his specific proposal (which could only happen in 19th century – before mortgages)

        How do you differentiate, say, Manhattan parcels vs West Texas ranches?

        well assuming same-state jurisdiction, the market determines the value of land. Land = total price minus depreciated (NOT replacement) value of the property/improvements in an arm’s length transaction. Munis would have different mill rates depending on what sort of local spending is in an ‘improve land value’ category (school facilities, roads, fire/police stations, hospital capital, etc).

        There are enough transactions to be able to roughly differentiate urban land values by block or precinct – here’s one that is national comparing cities – and if the muni is so inclined to differentiate mill rates in that city (better infrastructure spending/location pays more, wastelands pay less) if they break out their spending as well on a more geographic basis.

        1. depreciated (NOT replacement) value of the property/improvements

          Two avenues for corruption right there — depreciation and value of the improvements. Doesn’t that take away the primary advantage of Georgism land tax?

          Munis would have different mill rates depending on what sort of local spending is in an ‘improve land value’ category (school facilities, roads, fire/police stations, hospital capital, etc).

          And the cronyism keeps on coming.

          There are enough transactions to be able to roughly differentiate urban land values by block or precinct

          So much for Georgism land tax, right down the flusher.
          Do you call yourself a libertarian? No, that’s not a serious question.

          1. Well Milton Friedman, William F Buckley, David Nolan, Winston Churchill, Adam Smith, David Ricardo all think perhaps you are simply refusing to actually understand how it works. Henry George didn’t invent anything. He was simply the last of the classical economists. And in one form or another – Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Estonia, parts of Australia, – can figure out how to put it into practice and make it a core part of their tax system – and those countries rank #1, #2, #5, #7, and #13 in ‘economic freedom’ according to Heritage (US is #18).

            Of course I understand that all those folks are just commies.

          2. As is, the few places I’ve been have appraised and taxed land and improvements separately. If there is corruption, it’s already manifest with no overweening scandals that I’m aware of.

            Depreciation rates tend to follow a set schedule, as with most other assets. You’d have to explain how it is damning in the case of a land tax and not in the thousands of other assessments for tax purposes.

            Per you, what is the primary advantage of the land tax?

            Municipalities already tax per zoning. Again, if there is cronyism, it is already in place. Moving to a land tax doesn’t change the calculation significantly.

            Short of Rothbard, there hasn’t been significant repudiation of the land tax. And several libertarian economist support it.

            Take it up with them.

            1. What’s the point of switching land taxes if not to improve efficiency and reduce cronyism and distortion? If it’s just the same old corrupt regime, why?

              1. Reduction of deadweight loss? Simplification of the tax code? Reduction in overhead? Aren’t those improved efficiencies?

                Cronyism, by degree, is going to happen regardless.

                However there is difference in cronyism between the 73,954 pages of the 2014 US income tax code, and the five pages of the property tax code where I live (including city and county).

                And one of those pages is how to have your property reassessed if you think there is a mistake with your tax.

                1. I was not familiar with the Georgian scheme, and it didn’t take long to see the advantages *IF* it was, as proposed, the ONLY tax, replacing all others.I have a feeling that JFree’s claims of ‘universal’ approval are under that condition.
                  Even then, the claims are not supported; for instance, the claim it is only applied to the land owner ignores the fact that it is but one of the costs of owning land, passed on the renter like all other costs.
                  There is absolutely nothing to show it would simplify any tax code at all; it would be bent and twisted like any other.

                  1. the claim it is only applied to the land owner ignores the fact that it is but one of the costs of owning land, passed on the renter like all other costs.

                    Actually it IS paid by the landowner. Smith, Ricardo, and George all explain how. Basically since the land tax itself doesn’t change whether you have a tiny house on the lot or a 4-plex, the landowner of a tiny house for rent is going to be forced into competing with the owner of the 4-plex for rent re what they can actually pass thru to the renter. The 4-plex landlord can split that land tax 4 ways and pass that on – so the tiny house landlord is going to have to eat 3/4 of that tax. The more one develops, the more one can pass that cost on – but one is passing a smaller and smaller portion along and is continually competing against a landlord who is developing more and/or eating the costs himself to get more stable/’better’ tenants at the margin.

                    1. “and/or eating the costs himself to get more stable/’better’ tenants at the margin.”
                      You have an active fantasy life.

                    2. You have an active fantasy life, and here’s how:
                      The tiny house will be off the rental market; so much for adding to the rental stock.
                      And then:
                      “The more one develops, the more one can pass that cost on – but one is passing a smaller and smaller portion along and is continually competing against a landlord who is developing more and/or eating the costs himself to get more stable/’better’ tenants at the margin.”
                      None of that (outside of your fantasies) changes anything from the current tax arrangements: All landlords compete for tenants all the time (given no ‘rent control’). Larger developments always spread the costs over a larger number of tenants.
                      Did you really think there was a point there, or did you just parrot some cockamamie crap you read someplace?
                      Oh, and you and the equally idiotic qsl need to speak with each other; he claims the utopian tax discourages development; you claim it promotes it.
                      I’m saying this:
                      What you promote, absent *replacing* all other taxes, is just one more lefty hope of engineering society in the direction preferred by lefties, with all the likelihood of success inherent in lefty social-engineering schemes from day one: Zero.

                2. One of the big flaws with such a system though is: Do you REALLY want to encourage people to “improve” every chunk of land out there?

                  I don’t think we do. Lots of people own big tracts of land, and leave it to its natural state. They may visit it to camp, or do minor tree thinning from time to time. But many land tax systems would essentially make such things hard/impossible to do. Which I don’t think is a good thing. I plan on buying a big chunk of land one of these days, and probably building a cabin on it myself. Otherwise, I’m going to leave it be. This is a good thing for our posterity IMO, especially since the conservation is all voluntary.

                  1. One of the big flaws with such a system though is: Do you REALLY want to encourage people to “improve” every chunk of land out there?

                    You have it exactly backwards.

                    Per George, a reason why city lots tend to be worth more than even primo farm land is due to surrounding improvements (Vegas is a prime example). And since taxes are shifted heavily towards land, the tendency is to leave land undeveloped (at least outside of cites) to reduce the tax burden. It’s one of the reasons it is considered an ecotax. The tendency is only to develop as needed, and put that land to its most productive use.

                    It is also one of the arguments against the land tax, as an owner of land will see the value of their land (and their respective tax burden) go up from surrounding improvements. People are fine with taking profits from others development, but paying more taxes rubs them the wrong way.

                    1. Qsl|1.19.19 @ 2:19PM|#
                      “One of the big flaws with such a system though is: Do you REALLY want to encourage people to “improve” every chunk of land out there?
                      You have it exactly backwards.”

                      Talk to your lefty buddy JFree, above

                    2. Hmmm…

                      Your usefulness to me is along the lines of a rent-a-buffoon from any infomercial- glib incredulity so I can develop a point, and after I’ve shot my load, to be discarded by the side of the road.

                      I believe JFree was discussing inelastic supply as it applies to taxation.

                      I believe I was discussing how taxation tends to restrict development.

                      I’m pretty certain we both understand the separate points being made.

                      Betcha can’t guess who doesn’t?

                    3. Qsl|1.20.19 @ 9:03AM|#
                      “Your usefulness to me is along the lines of a rent-a-buffoon from any infomercial- glib incredulity so I can develop a point, and after I’ve shot my load, to be discarded by the side of the road.”
                      How…..
                      Stupid; as expected.

                      “I believe JFree was discussing inelastic supply as it applies to taxation.
                      I believe I was discussing how taxation tends to restrict development.
                      I’m pretty certain we both understand the separate points being made.
                      Betcha can’t guess who doesn’t?”
                      Or who just pulled an explanation out of his ass.

                    4. QSL, from past reading on the subject, it seems if you increase the tax on land itself, and not improvements, this ultimately makes owning raw land untenable. Why? Because if you’re paying higher taxes on raw land than before, you’re essentially forced to make some sort of improvement to it so you can even afford to pay the taxes.

                      Who cares about people gaining land value because other improve around them? That’s fine. Taxing on land + improvements makes more sense to me. Obviously we could use a million tweaks on how our tax system works, but taxing land + improvements is one of the less shitty ways IMO, provided it’s a reasonable tax level, properly structured, etc

                    5. I’d say it is more where you purchase land. Land out in the sticks is dirt cheap (I regularly drive past a sign offering 200 acres for $100k, and that isn’t even the cheapest land available). If you were to develop it as a farm, the return would be fairly high even though the taxes would be comparatively low (people often confuse land use with land development).

                      But you are right that owning raw land in a city is untenable without some improvements. That’s kind of baked in to the argument for a land value tax.

                      Taxing improvements actually diminishes the land tax, as one of the ideas is to not tax labor or capital gains. This is why a land tax has comparatively fewer market distortions than most other taxes. It also puts a hard cap on the level of taxes as the tax can only be a portion of what the land could reasonably produce (ideally, economic rent from improvements).

                    6. Generally speaking, my understanding of most of these proposals will raise taxes on undeveloped land. This may hit harder in the city, but will also hit rural areas. I don’t like that part of it.

                      I guess my main thrust is I don’t have a problem with somebody deciding to NOT develop a piece of land in the city, or the way it works generally as is. Perhaps they know that NOW it might be viable to build a row of townhouses, but they’re pretty sure in 10 years it will be more fitting to have a 5 story complex there, so they want to wait it out, instead of throwing in townhouses now. A land tax may make that type of thing untenable, despite it actually not being a bad thing overall to have some people thinking farther out and holding off on development.

                      Also, I think it is reasonable to tax a 5 story building on one .5 acre lot more than an empty lot next door.

                      In short, out of ALL the borked taxes we have in the US… I just don’t have much of a problem with the current property tax regime. I’d rather not have property taxes at all so one can TRULY own land, before I’d switch it to taxing the land value only.

    3. Oregon’s property tax system was overhauled by citizen initiative (multiple passes). First they put in a property tax cut, then they went back and capped the rate of growth at a level that was far below the actual increases in property valuation. When I sold in 2016, I was being taxed on less than half the sales price.

      1. James Pollock|1.19.19 @ 9:25AM|#
        “Oregon’s property tax system was overhauled by citizen initiative (multiple passes). First they put in a property tax cut, then they went back and capped the rate of growth at a level that was far below the actual increas
        es in property valuation. When I sold in 2016, I was being taxed on less than half the sales price.”

        Was there a point?

        1. Yes, for people able to read and analyze.

          You say you don’t see it? Such a surprise.

  13. Statewide. So a couple of neighborhoods in downtown Portland drive what’s going on in Redmond?

    1. Actually, progressive political goals drive progressive politicians actions.
      Resistance is futile.

    2. Several states have this problem. There’s enough people in one big city to outvote folks who live in the other 99 percent of the state.
      See: Las Vegas v Nevada, Chicago v Illinois, NYC v New York.

      1. Yup. Diane lives in Seattle, where I also live. Until LITERALLY the last couple years, Washington was still precariously balanced and the rest of the state was holding things in check. Then the last few years it has all gone to shit.

        I was really hoping the balance would stay, as western Washington is a nice place. I was planning on moving outside King County (where Seattle is) and staying in the general area. Things are getting so bad so fast now that I’m either heading straight to Idaho, OR maybe Spokane, as it is literally a few minutes from Idaho. I can always move 15 minutes down the road and be on the other side of the border when things get too bad in WA.

        It’s really sad to see it happen though. I wish rural Washington had been drawing in as many right leaning folks as saaay Idaho has in recent years, because if it had we could have kept the state balanced! And if we’re being honest, Washington has a lot more natural awesome than Idaho overall. Oh well.

        1. Problem is that the demographics are changing in the rural area for reasons you brought up. They move but vote the same way. They also are causing more pollution commuting back and forth. If you’re gonna work in a shit hole you should have to live there too. Quit ruining the outer city limits

          1. Yeah, western Washington rural areas near the I5 corridor anyway. Big city urbanites have definitely been filtering outside of Seattle for years now.

            As I said though, it’s too bad Washington didn’t draw in more conservative people moving from liberal states like Idaho, Texas, etc have. 10 years ago Washington was damn near as good as Texas was in all tax/regulatory ways, but had our special northwest beauty with the mountains/ocean/etc, and if we’d been drawing in even a small fraction of the people that moved to Texas we could have kept this state centrist, or even tilted it right at the state level. It was SO close politically.

            Now that we’ve started the downward spiral with taxes, regulations, etc it’s basically never going to get saved, even though a couple hundred thousand right wingers would be enough to swing the whole state back and keep things awesome here.

      2. Larry, this is why states need their own electoral system. Or just thin out the progressive population.

    3. Now you know why the rural areas of america privately, or not so privately, wish that the Urban centers would just die en mass.

      They wreck a nation, every time.

      1. I am NOT private about this belief! They may yet if they keep pushing their agenda. I don’t think we’re far off from a civil war honestly.

    4. The land appreciation/rental shortage hit first in Bend.

  14. I hope this passes, if only to test out if this modified rent control accomplishes its goals or not. States should be laboratories, after all. Here in Santa Monica, rents can be increased by only 2 or 3 percent a year…which can be less than the rate of inflation. But under this proposed law, rent can be increased by 10% or more (depending on the inflation for the previous year), which is a much higher return for landlords (obviously). Will this far better return make this law work more efficiently? I dunno . . . but I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

    1. It will definitely have less effect.

      In reality at the rates of increase they allow, it’s really just a virtue signalling law. Very few places see sustained increases that high for long. Even after several years of exceeding the cap, you might only be trailing a single year or so behind market rates. So once a boom dies down, you can get to market rates the very next year with one more full increase.

  15. Politicians like rent control for some of the same reasons they like gun control:

    ? Both make them look, to the uninformed or uneducated, like they are “doing something”,

    ? Both expand bureaucracies, and

    ? Both tend to have an outcome different than the stated intent resulting in yet more doses of the same snake oil.

    If you’re a politician, what is there not to like about either?

    1. It give them more power over people’s lives. Nothing is more important to a progressive.

  16. I’m expecting that sooner or later the folks who live in rural Oregon are going to raze Portland and environs to the ground.

    1. Oh. Forgot the sowing with salt.

      1. Can we do Seattle first??? I got a pad where folks can crash the night before the razing!

    2. I haven’t found an urban center yet that isn’t completely despised by the entire state that it lords over like the capital in the Hunger Games movies.

  17. What rental properties built 17 years ago? 21 years ago?

    And what would happen if the inability to raise rent prices at a certain threshold would result in losses? They have to keep their units running at a loss?

    1. Nope, they sell. Thats what usually happens.

  18. How did the socialist loons of california let oregon beat them to the punch on this little gem?

    1. All the “socialist loons” are leaving the hellhole they created in California and moving INTO Oregon :). So really, Immigration is the only reason Oregon is beating them on the punch.

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  20. Oregon citizens can always move to the mid-west.

    1. Kill yourself Hihnfaggot.

    2. They already moved into Oregon from California. The plague is spreading.

  21. We Need FART Control.

    Have you ever ridden BART from SF to Berkeley and some one let’s one loose and how it smells so bad and the car is crowded and there is no fresh air?

    1. Reason #639 why I will not use public transportation.

  22. Obviously it shouldn’t be passed, because it’s dumb… But it’s less dumb than I would have expected.

    7% PLUS inflation is really 8-10% in pretty much any year. Rents NEVER go up that much per year for any real length of time. Even in Seattle where I live, it’s not really topped that, and now that it’s slowed down the few years that did could be caught up on the back end.

    So it’s not nearly as retarded as it could be. But building more units is the only real solution. I don’t follow Portland nonsense much, but it sounds like they’ve done about as well as Seattle… We had to destroy all the character of basically every cool neighborhood in the entire city to do it, but supply caught up to demand roughly a year ago, and rents are slightly down. Sounds like Portland is the same.

    1. This is like the income tax the progtards in WA keep,trying to squeeze in. They always tell us it’s only on the really rich people at a few percent. We all know what happens next. The income threshold is lowered by the legislature, along with inflation effectively lowering over time. The tax rate is also slowly adjusted upwards. In a decade or two, everyone pays it, and instead of two percent, it’s either to ten percent.

      Such is the way of the progtard.

  23. And by tenant protections, they mean keeping the high paid riff raff out so the struggling artists and weirdos can still live downtown and historic housing never gets upgraded to something livable.

  24. I would advise all landlords with property in neo-marxist locales to install extremely high volume ultrasonic pest control devices (some such unit are made for crowd control purposes) in each unit wired to a timer control capable of extremely short on cycles. The units need to be hardwired and installed so they cannot be seen (behind heating vents, real or fake, are often good spots). The ultrasonic emitter should be located in or close to each unit’s bedrooms while an on/off power control is located outside any apartment in a secure utility closet. Most units have volume controls but they cant be remotely located, they are on the speaker housing. Disruptive and undesirable tenants may choose to move on after experiencing a number of randomly selected nights where they are awoken several times by ultrasonic noises they cannot hear or identify. Works even better if they have dogs. Some units claim to induce nausea but I always stuck with crows dispersal units on a timer triggered momentary switch. And if the units are ever discovered (mine never were) there is an excellent reason for having installed them. They are an excellent way to clear an apartment of vermin should tenants of dubious hygiene ever introduce any.

    1. Won’t work in the PRofSF.
      But the ‘rent control; laws have made it worth while to pay the ~$50K to get the parasites out and find a new way to rent the units.

    2. LOL That’s an amazing idea! Horrible, and devious… But amazing.

  25. Fortunately for Oregon, the ugliest chicken won’t come to roost for quite a while. Oregon is still sparsely populated, compared to places like SF and NY. The combination of a) hard geographic limits on available space, b) a constant flood of new people (relocating Americans, offspring, immigrants, you name it), and c) a maze of misguided government restrictions–all adds up to a real estate horror show.

    I have a friend who’s been in a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn for over a decade. He pays less than 25% of the market price, and his landlord refuses to fix anything, including the furnace, which is been dead for three years. The building is literally falling apart, but the owner doesn’t care–he wants his tenants to move out. And my friend swears he’ll never leave, no matter how bad it gets, because he can’t afford to. Jeez.

    1. The building is literally falling apart, but the owner doesn’t care–he wants his tenants to move out. And my friend swears he’ll never leave, no matter how bad it gets, because he can’t afford to. Jeez

      “Living in a crumbing tenement with no heat in the winter is a small price to pay to live near so many trendy eateries in DA BIG CITY!!!!”

  26. A Thermodynamic Explanation of Politics

    The City vs Country divide has been a feature of human politics for 5,000 years or more. Too bad we haven’t figured it out yet.

    Two Ecologies

    Cities are classic “behavior sinks” according to Thomas Jefferson.

    “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” – Thomas Jefferson

  27. Why don’t the government just seize the properties and rent them. They have done such a great job with HUD. They could build little organic markets and coffee shops and put in fitness centers. They could also build high speed rail to connect the neighborhoods.

    1. If they think they can get away with it, they will. Just look at that commie piece of shit DeBlasio.

  28. Oregon Likely to Become the First State in the Nation to have a Statewide Housing Crisis

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  30. Seems investors are more important than regular people. Are they special? Fuk Noooooo..Just more libertarion bullshit to justify them at the top screwing over them on the bottom because investors wont hit their mark of absolute robbery.

  31. Seems investors are more important than regular people. Are they special? Fuk Noooooo..Just more libertarion bullshit to justify them at the top screwing over them on the bottom because investors wont hit their mark of absolute robbery.

  32. Seems investors are more important than regular people. Are they special? Fuk Noooooo..Just more libertarion bullshit to justify them at the top screwing over them on the bottom because investors wont hit their mark of absolute robbery.

  33. Seems investors are more important than regular people. Are they special? Fuk Noooooo..Just more libertarion bullshit to justify them at the top screwing over them on the bottom because investors wont hit their mark of absolute robbery.

  34. Seems investors are more important than regular people. Are they special? Fuk Noooooo..Just more libertarion bullshit to justify them at the top screwing over them on the bottom because investors wont hit their mark of absolute robbery.

  35. Seems investors are more important than regular people. Are they special? Fuk Noooooo..Just more libertarion bullshit to justify them at the top screwing over them on the bottom because investors wont hit their mark of absolute robbery.

  36. It’s a good idea but they are going about it the wrong way. The should implement a statewide freeze on costs incurred by owners of rental properties.

    Once a renter has signed an agreement, all costs to the owner should be frozen for that rental item. No property tax increases, no sewer/water increases, no income tax increases, etc…

    1. “No property tax increases, no sewer/water increases, no income tax increases”

      The property tax increase IS ALREADY capped. The lag is so severe that when the housing bust hit, people saw the value of their properties drop by 25% or so… and their property taxes still went up, because the rise year-to-year is capped, and everyone’s taxable valuation is held artificially low if they’ve held the property for any meaningful period of time.

      Oregon’s income tax is such that pretty much anyone with a normal income is already taxed at the top rate. And everyone in Oregon is already paying the same sales tax rate, too.

  37. “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city?except for bombing.” – Assar Lindbeck, Swedish Socialist

  38. So because they can raise rents however they want when a tenant moves out it just means they will raise them higher than they otherwise would have, given that they are locked in at that rate with capped increases. I’d wager this causes rent statewide to rise even faster than it already is

  39. Start working at home with Google. It’s the most-financially rewarding I’ve ever done. On tuesday I got a gorgeous BMW after having earned $8699 this last month. I actually started five months/ago and practically straight away was bringin in at least $96, per-hour. visit this site right here….. http://www.2citypays.com

  40. Start working at home with Google. It’s the most-financially rewarding I’ve ever done. On tuesday I got a gorgeous BMW after having earned $8699 this last month. I actually started five months/ago and practically straight away was bringin in at least $96, per-hour. visit this site right here….. http://www.2citypays.com

  41. What has happened to the state that I grew up in? Progressive Portland controls the state which except for Eugene is conservative or libertarian. I can’t see how this is of any benefit especially to the the part of the state that isn’t Portland.

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