Thursday, March 14, 2013

Let's play "Affordable Housing Developer". Spot the "Creative Assumptions" and win a prize.

Financial worksheet from  published by Bridge Housing.

Editor's Note: 
When  we announced this contest on January 8th.  We were received many responses.  Apparently the supporters of Bridge Housing were watching too and realized the questionable accounting.  Bridge took it off their website. We asked Lisa Grady at the 2/12/13 CSD Meeting to help us understand why she included irrelevant  tax funding streams from Hoytt development and Marinwood Market, and the sewage bill that  wildly inflate their apparent tax contribution .  If Bridge Housing was a publicly traded company and distributed such misleading financial information, they would face severe penalties. 

Bridge Housing ,  potential developer of Marinwood Village is trying to present a case for their development to skeptical residents.  It has been revealed that the 83 family development will pay about $10,000 in total annual fees for the 83 families that will be residing there. We pay $10,000 per student to educate our children in the Dixie School.  Original estimates were that we could expect 150 school children or 1.8 children per apartment.  Now, they have "reworked" the presentation to suggest that they will be paying $360,706 in annual taxes and "only" 60 school children.

Clearly the Marinwood Village complex will be a huge financial burden to the Dixie School District, forcing millions of dollars in costs for new classrooms, teachers and administrators.  It also may require a new fire ladder company, costing millions of dollars in equipment, training and personnel.

See if you can spot the "creative assumptions"
in their spread sheet. 

With such misleading information,
which "facts" can we rely on from Bridge Housing?


  1. If you believe it is clear that this development will be a burden you should make an effort to provide information that is clear and less misleading. For example you say that we pay $10,000 per child and this project will pay only $10,000 total. But that is misleading. How much do you pay? You don't pay $10,000 per child. Neither do I. Neither will this project. This project will pay parcel assessments to the school, just like you and me. They aren't getting any kind of special break here. They pay into the school system just like you, me, and all of our neighbors.

    Oh, and the "millions of dollars" that will be needed for new classrooms, teachers and administrators? Perhaps I missed it, but did the district publish a estimate of funds needed to accommodate these students? Did they say that the one-time assessment being paid by this project to the school is inadequate? If not, then you may want to qualify your statements with some sort of disclaimer, like: I just made this ridiculously inflated number up to scare you.

  2. Those are fair points that can easily be addressed. The $10,000 per child figure is what Dixie School district spends according to Superintendent Lohwasser. The Dixie School district extends to Terra Linda and the tax burden is shared. See the February 11 Planning commission video tape entitled "No money for Dixie Schools" to hear from the commision and planners.

    The seriousness of the Dixie School funding cannot be under estimated.

    The "millions of dollars" is not an exaggeration either. I have a spreadsheet for the expansion of 6000 square foot modular classrooms for 40 students. This modest addition is expected to cost 2.9 millon dollars. This is before teachers, maintainence, administrators, computers, books, etc.

    A single portable classroom can cost $100,000 to $200,000 installed.

    The facts are readily obtainable and undisputed. Look a little closer.

    The eminent changes to our community are drastic and over reaching and will be thoroughly rejected by the community once all is known.

  3. Last I heard, city planners tagged single family homes as the most costly option for a city. That is, your home is part of the sort of development that does not pay its fair share of city costs.

  4. Anonymous, You must not live in Marinwood-Lucas Valley. Our budget is almost entirely driven by property taxes on single family homes. There is virtually no commercial tax base or sales tax revenue. Bridge housing will cost the community millions of dollars of support for infrastructure upgrades and government services for 85 families and contribute roughly the equivalent to a single family homes. Every real estate market is different. We are a working middle class and self sufficient bedroom community being forced to pay for the affordable housing needed elsewhere in the Bay Area.