John Seiler

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Cities can slash homeless housing costs by ditching subsidies

Cities can slash homeless housing costs by ditching subsidies by John Seiler | May 10, 2024 Why reject government subsidies? After all, everyone pays huge amounts in taxes. Might as well get some of it back. But that’s just what’s happening in California’s housing crisis. In part of a new ...
Blog

Insurance crisis moves from hinterlands to big cities

Insurance crisis moves from hinterlands to big cities By John Seiler | May 3, 2024 The home-insurance crisis hitting California and other states is now thwarting cities’ efforts to house the homeless. All mortgages require insurance up front. No insurance, no homes for the homeless, or anybody. That directly will ...
Blog

Read about SF's turn to the right

San Francisco voters turn to the right on crime and schools

The most controversial, Measure E, passed 54% to 46%. It allowed the following: After a public hearing, the chief of police could install surveillance devices without the approval of the Police Commission; Police could use drones to pursue vehicles and for investigations, including facial recognition, without the approval of the ...
Blog

Read about new local tax & bond measures

Local voters face 77 tax increases on California’s March ballot

According to its calculation, if all pass the combined hit would be $350 million in direct tax increases and $3.6 billion in bonded indebtedness. The group notes the new debt includes “36 school bonds, 16 transactions and use taxes, 19 parcel taxes, two general obligation bonds, one business license tax, ...
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Read latest from PRI's Free Cities Center

Well-run California cities grow, while badly run ones shrink

I’ve come up with a unique way to measure how well California cities are doing. It shows those with well-run finances grow in population, while those badly run shrink. It’s a generality. There are exceptions. But look at the trend line on this chart. Notice the trend line, the dotted ...
Blog

Get the latest scoop on local green programs

Budget woes force cities to limit utopian climate programs

City officials depend on money from state and federal governments to implement climate agendas imposed from above. A new report finds them griping about their favorite topic: not enough money from the taxpayers. Key takeaway: “Across all policy areas, respondents were most likely to identify staff capacity and funding as ...
Blog

Learn about latest effort to subvert free market housing reform

Protect property rights to boost housing and preserve history

When I came to Orange County in 1987 to write editorials for The Orange County Register, I rented an apartment in Huntington Beach about half a mile from the famous beach to the south. Half a mile to the west was Main Street, then a funky row of surfboard shops, ...
Blog

Read latest from Free Cities Center

Can district elections provide better city representation?

I was born in Detroit in 1955 and grew up in the nearby suburb of Wayne. So I had a front-row seat for Motown’s decline in the 1960s. One reason I’ve heard over the decades is Detroit from 1918 until 2013 elected council members at large. That was contrasted to ...
Blog

Will new California laws finally ease the housing shortage?

California’s twin housing and homelessness crises continue to fester. The Legislature in recent years passed some useful bills promoting housing construction by streamlining the local approval process, such as Senate Bills 9 and 10 from 2021. Yet cities remain plagued with homeless encampments. Housing prices, despite soaring interest rates that ...
Blog

Read latest from Free Cities Center

Union-backed bills pose biggest challenges to cities

Cities are creatures of the state, so they have to obey. Residents are likely to suffer more and bigger potholes, further declining school test scores and higher taxes – meaning more people will flee the state or head to the suburbs. Here’s a look at some of the worst urban-related ...
Blog

Cities can slash homeless housing costs by ditching subsidies

Cities can slash homeless housing costs by ditching subsidies by John Seiler | May 10, 2024 Why reject government subsidies? After all, everyone pays huge amounts in taxes. Might as well get some of it back. But that’s just what’s happening in California’s housing crisis. In part of a new ...
Blog

Insurance crisis moves from hinterlands to big cities

Insurance crisis moves from hinterlands to big cities By John Seiler | May 3, 2024 The home-insurance crisis hitting California and other states is now thwarting cities’ efforts to house the homeless. All mortgages require insurance up front. No insurance, no homes for the homeless, or anybody. That directly will ...
Blog

Read about SF's turn to the right

San Francisco voters turn to the right on crime and schools

The most controversial, Measure E, passed 54% to 46%. It allowed the following: After a public hearing, the chief of police could install surveillance devices without the approval of the Police Commission; Police could use drones to pursue vehicles and for investigations, including facial recognition, without the approval of the ...
Blog

Read about new local tax & bond measures

Local voters face 77 tax increases on California’s March ballot

According to its calculation, if all pass the combined hit would be $350 million in direct tax increases and $3.6 billion in bonded indebtedness. The group notes the new debt includes “36 school bonds, 16 transactions and use taxes, 19 parcel taxes, two general obligation bonds, one business license tax, ...
Blog

Read latest from PRI's Free Cities Center

Well-run California cities grow, while badly run ones shrink

I’ve come up with a unique way to measure how well California cities are doing. It shows those with well-run finances grow in population, while those badly run shrink. It’s a generality. There are exceptions. But look at the trend line on this chart. Notice the trend line, the dotted ...
Blog

Get the latest scoop on local green programs

Budget woes force cities to limit utopian climate programs

City officials depend on money from state and federal governments to implement climate agendas imposed from above. A new report finds them griping about their favorite topic: not enough money from the taxpayers. Key takeaway: “Across all policy areas, respondents were most likely to identify staff capacity and funding as ...
Blog

Learn about latest effort to subvert free market housing reform

Protect property rights to boost housing and preserve history

When I came to Orange County in 1987 to write editorials for The Orange County Register, I rented an apartment in Huntington Beach about half a mile from the famous beach to the south. Half a mile to the west was Main Street, then a funky row of surfboard shops, ...
Blog

Read latest from Free Cities Center

Can district elections provide better city representation?

I was born in Detroit in 1955 and grew up in the nearby suburb of Wayne. So I had a front-row seat for Motown’s decline in the 1960s. One reason I’ve heard over the decades is Detroit from 1918 until 2013 elected council members at large. That was contrasted to ...
Blog

Will new California laws finally ease the housing shortage?

California’s twin housing and homelessness crises continue to fester. The Legislature in recent years passed some useful bills promoting housing construction by streamlining the local approval process, such as Senate Bills 9 and 10 from 2021. Yet cities remain plagued with homeless encampments. Housing prices, despite soaring interest rates that ...
Blog

Read latest from Free Cities Center

Union-backed bills pose biggest challenges to cities

Cities are creatures of the state, so they have to obey. Residents are likely to suffer more and bigger potholes, further declining school test scores and higher taxes – meaning more people will flee the state or head to the suburbs. Here’s a look at some of the worst urban-related ...
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