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The No on P campaign responds

Submitted by on 1, October 20, 2008 – 8:45 amNo Comment

We got a note from Nancy Rogers of the No on P campaign over the weekend, seeking to clarify some things Mayor Beverly Johnson said in the Alameda Journal (which we reported on Friday) regarding funding for their campaign against the proposed property transfer tax increase. Johnson said the No on P campaign is being funded by “a Southern California-based Realtors organization.” The Realtors say it is being funded locally. Here’s what Rogers had to say:

The mayor has made the misleading statement that the campaign against Measure P is being funded by a southern California firm. Measure P is being funded by local Realtors. Alameda Realtors voluntarily contribute to a political action fund to protect private property rights. We have accessed funds from our account to oppose Measure P. Our political action fund is administered from our state office in Los Angeles. All members of the Alameda Association of Realtors are also members of the California and national associations of Realtors. As members of organized real estate, we make a commitment to adhere to a strict code of ethics. In addition, part of our mission is to protect private property rights. Each year members are asked voluntarily to make a contribution to the political action committee fund for issues mobilization. Local association members from all over the state make contributions to their own local account that is administered through the state association office in Los Angeles. When disclosing campaign contributions, we are required to state where the account is administered. This is why the disclosure lists a southern California address. But the majority of the money funding the campaign comes from contributions from local Realtors.

There are two very important points to make about the Alameda Association of Realtors and Measure P. First, Realtors do not benefit or are directly affected whether Measure P passes or not. The transfer tax is paid by the seller and buyer. Second, whenever there is a local issue that will impact property owners, the leadership and members of AAoR compare the advantages for the community of Alameda to the effect the measure will have on property owners. This is why, in the past, the Alameda Association has not opposed taxes for the library, hospital, and schools. Although theoretically, organized real estate is against any tax that puts the burden of responsibility on property owners, locally we believe there are times when it is necessary for maintaining the quality of life all Alamedans enjoy.

However, a 122% increase as Measure P proposes, is an excessive tax. It places such a burden on property owners and will impact the affordability for buyers. It will not solve the budget problems or even accomplish what the city originally intended. In fact, when asked directly if Measure P passes if it would mean police and fire services would not be cut, the mayor said no. After reviewing all of the facts and consequences of Measure P, the consensus of the members was that we needed to vigorously oppose it. That is why we withdrew money from our portion of the fund to oppose Measure P.

P.S.: We just caught the anti-P piece in the Journal, and that’s here.

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