The steady drumbeat of affordable housing goes on. As with healthcare and education, it is now considered a basic human right by the governing class in both Portland and Salem.
With recent passage of the controversial tenant screening ordinance by the Portland City Council, one more step has been taken down the slippery slope of government takeover. Next up a ‘Portland Housing Authority’ owning and operating public housing in a manner competitive with that of the private sector. If private sector landlords can’t or won’t provide ‘affordable’ housing, then it will be up to the government. What, pray tell, will this get us?
History may not repeat itself, but it certainly does rhyme. As Portland seems to fancy itself as NYC writ small, a good precedent may be the New York City Housing Authority and its thousands of apartment units full of “rats, roaches and mold.”
In a city whose supply of new and affordable housing has long been strangled by some of the nation’s most draconian rent control laws, government had to step in where private sector developers stepped out. In so doing, they created one of the nation’s largest (174,000 apartment) pools of sub-standard housing. “Rats, roaches, mold and leaks have long abounded at the nation’s largest public housing authority.” Power outages in both winter and summer are commonplace. “Elevators often fail, leaving elderly or disabled residents trapped in their apartments without food or sleeping in building lobbies because they cannot return to their homes.” Work orders for failing roofing, windows and doors go unfilled for months at a time.
With this egregious example of public sector bureaucracy, irresponsibility, inefficiency and waste staring us in the face, does anyone really believe Portland city government can do things better? Last time I checked, none of our ‘distinguished’ City Council members had much in the way of commercial real-estate property development, ownership or management experience.
Why then, do we tolerate this steady erosion of our private property rights and its corresponding usurpation by government? Our minority status and the politics of class envy and vilification have much to do with it. The craven nature of Portland’s governing class has given itself up to this and uses it as just another tool for personal aggrandizement.
Therefore, if rental property owners want to protect themselves from the rage and stupidity of these political idolaters and avoid being further identified, hunted down and punished as infidels, the logical thing to do is leave. Fortunately, Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code gives you that escape hatch.
For years real estate investors have successfully used section 1031 of the IRS code to exchange their property for bigger and better “like kind” property and defer payment of capital gains tax on their sale.
However, due to the natural limitations of geography and experience, exchanges are often circumscribed to local markets. Unfortunately, doing so today is like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. This is where DST properties come in.
As institutionally conceived and managed portfolios of income producing commercial properties, you can go anywhere in the nation. You are not limited to what you can see, touch and manage personally. This allows you to escape high tax states for low-no tax states. In so doing, you will forestall further erosion in your private property rights and put your investment equity in front of “millions of people, thousands of businesses and tens of billions of dollars in net income.”
Run away, run away, run away.
Robert S. Smith – Peregrine Private Capital