They’re back! And they’re at it again. They, meaning Governor Kate Brown, Margot Black and their troglodytes in Salem and Portland.
A troglodyte is loosely defined as “a person who lives in a cave or a person who is regarded as being deliberately ignorant.” (Oxford Dictionary of English).
Knowing state/local government and those that trod its musty halls as we do, it should come as no surprise that the Governor and her staff seem ignorant of the Oregon Constitution. Eight years ago, amidst a cratered housing market, Oregon voters decided the state shouldn’t impose taxes when real estate changes hands. As a result, the Oregon Constitution now prohibits any “tax or fee or other assessment upon the transfer of any interest in real property or measured by the consideration paid or received upon the transfer of any interest in real property.”
Despite this, the governor’s office has filed a resolution for the current legislative session asking voters to amend the State Constitution to allow for real estate transfer taxes, which will be assessed when real property changes hands.
Along with statewide rent control, this is Salem’s answer to the issue of affordable housing; in my opinion, more soon to be dysfunctional regulation piled on top of some of the nations most restrictive zoning and land use rules.
On cue, these same politicians bemoan the state’s lack of affordable housing. However, I feel they are incapable of recognizing it is their own policies that have created the problem. This is because for liberal’s politics is religion. Therefore, to recant is heretical. In doing so, you are immediately branded apostate and cast out.
And just when you think the news out of Salem can’t get any worse, it does. SB (Senate Bill) 1533 currently under ‘consideration’ in our one party state will basically provide free legal assistance for most tenants, as well as fund tenant association and legal aid services. Think of having Margot Black and the Community Alliance of tenants with unlimited funding to represent any tenant in and under threat of an eviction.
This is truly scary stuff for all rental property owners. Reminds me of Joseph Stalin’s quote, “When we hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope we use.” If this bill passes, you dear landlord will be paying the very taxes used to fund these legal services.
Thank God for DST property programs. When suitable, their structure of remote ownership and management has the potential to allow accredited investors to flee the hostility and antipathy of the Portland marketplace in search for greener pastures. Or at least those metropolitan areas where private property rights are not being systematically extirpated by an angry and arrogant governing class.
Robert S. Smith
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