Fact Checking

On this page I’ll summarize inaccurate and misleading claims made during the campaign and set the record straight as needed.


Date of Claim: 07 September 2020

Claim: I am advocating for “tax increases on working families” through a blanket 1% tax on all real estate sales.

Claim Status: FALSE

Details:

If we pursue becoming a charter city, San Bruno could write our city charter however we want. If we include a transfer tax, we could design it to apply only to commercial property, be at a different rate for commercial vs. residential, or whatever we choose to write into the charter. And the voters would need to approve the charter before it would become law, so if voters were adamantly against residential transfer taxes we could go commercial only. That’s the whole point of a city charter…we get more local control to set the rules.

If we had a transfer tax on COMMERCIAL property at the rate that San Mateo uses, 0.7%, the recent Skypark sale to Amazon would have generated $672,000 for San Bruno. Instead, we get nothing.

Background:

On 07 September 2020 another candidate for San Bruno City Council created the following post to their campaign page. They also then shared the post to their personal Facebook page and are running a paid Facebook ad to distribute it widely:

The comment in the screenshot was from early August and was posted by me in response to an article announcing the $96 million sale of the Skypark property to Amazon. Yesterday, I posted the following comment in response to the post above, which clarifies my position including the context the other candidate omitted. It should be noted that when I posted the comment below as a response on the candidate’s campaign page on Facebook, the candidate responded by deleting my comment and restricting me from posting any additional comments. This is an interesting approach, but is not one I will employ. I have been and will continue to actively engage with residents in purposeful discussions about the issues that face San Bruno.

Hi <Candidate>, it looks like you’re only sharing part of the story here. If we pursue this process, San Bruno could write our city charter however we want. The transfer tax could apply only to commercial property, be at a different rate for commercial vs. residential, or whatever we choose to write into the charter. And the voters would need to approve the charter before it would become law, so if voters were adamantly against residential transfer taxes we could go commercial only. That’s the whole point of a city charter…we get more local control to set the rules.

If we had a transfer tax on COMMERCIAL property at the rate that San Mateo uses, 0.7%, the recent Skypark sale to Amazon would have generated $672,000 for San Bruno. Instead, we get nothing. Would you really be against the richest corporation on the planet paying such a tax to San Bruno?