Letters from our Readers: Condominium suit disingenuous of owners

I never thought I would live to see the day when I would side with City Hall on an issue related to affordable housing in San Francisco, but I guess that day has arrived. Although I believe that mandatory affordable housing is nothing less than city-dictated extortion, those owners who are suing to establish their right to sell their condominiums at market rates are being
disingenuous at best.

There is absolutely no way they could not have known that their condominiums were subject to the terms — including resale price caps — of the program establishing the below-market rates from which they benefited those many years ago. San Francisco’s alleged mismanagement of the program is irrelevant.

The City’s decision to allow them to buy out of the program at what seem to be reasonable prices is eminently fair. After all, these homeowners also have enjoyed far lower property taxes over the years as a result of their below-market purchases. So San Francisco should, at a minimum, be allowed to recoup part of the discounted property taxes accompanying the affordable-
housing program.

David H. Zisser, San Francisco

Nonprofits, file your taxes

We at the Internal Revenue Service are concerned that as many as 35,000 small, community-based nonprofits in California are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. These organizations include local sports associations and community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, church-affiliated groups, groups that assist people with special needs and many more.

They are at risk for failing to file required tax returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009 after a 2006 law change. Many small organizations can comply with this law by just completing a simple 10-minute form online. They can preserve their exempt status under a one-time relief program — but only if they file by Oct. 15.

The IRS has made numerous attempts to alert these organizations, but many may still not know. We encourage everyone connected with a small, nonprofit community group to make sure that their organization files a tax form before the deadline.

Jesse Weller, IRS, Oakland

Change board structure

City businesses aren’t represented in San Francisco government at all. Our Board of Supervisors still continues to hound companies, and they have the business foresight of a sloth. Just take the citywide Wi-Fi or the Home Depot fiasco as
examples. Supervisors demanded better deals until they finally achieved failure.

It’s obvious that a collection of district-elected supervisors don’t have the ability or vision to run a great city. Supervisors we once elected at large had marginal success but residents felt unrepresented, which led to district elections.

The City should tweak its election process and divide The City into four quadrants, each one represented by a single supervisor. The other supervisors would be elected at large.

R.E. O’Leary, San Francisco

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