Author Topic: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street  (Read 3837 times)

Roboturner

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Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« on: August 08, 2017, 03:39:20 PM »
Wasn't sure if this belonged here or in "Mustachianism around the web"

Stemming from a "comedy of errors" that led the HOA to not pay a $14/year tax for 3 decades - looking to recoup $994 in unpaid taxes SF auctioned off their Street and it got bought for 90k - the new owners will now charge residents fees for parking on their own neighborhood street

Only in California :P

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Rich-SF-residents-get-a-shock-Someone-bought-11738236.php
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Travis

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 04:31:48 PM »
A friend who lives in CA near there sent that to me last night.  I don't know enough about HOAs to know if the residents would ever be "in the know" that their HOA wasn't paying its bills?  If they had no way of knowing, then that really sucks.  If they did know or should have known, then sucks to be them.

Dicey

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 10:34:47 PM »
I saw this yesterday, too. I can't wait to see how this plays out! What a thrill it must have been to discover this, bid on it and "win". Off to make some popcorn...
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StockBeard

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 02:37:00 AM »
I also appreciate the irony at the end of the article:

Quote
Until a 1948 U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning the enforcement of racial covenants, homes in Presidio Terrace could be purchased only by whites.

“The more we dug into this,” said the Taiwan-born Cheng, “the more interesting it got.”

nobody123

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 06:33:25 AM »
So can the couple put a tollbooth up at the end of the street?  $20 per car!  It would be interesting to see what the zoning laws say, if they could charge for on-street parking without it being considered a parking lot instead of a private residential street.

YogiKitti

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 09:53:11 AM »
This is so interesting! I think it's a great investment for whoever bought the street. I wonder how repairs are going to be handled. If they have to pay to repave it, that will get expensive.

mm1970

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 10:35:45 AM »
My hubby and I were talking about this a couple of days ago.  Most of my friends think it's hilarious.

One set of couple friends, who live in the Bay Area, say it's horrible, shame on them and they are glad the owners are suing.  (They are also members of an HOA.)

Really?  Owners of multi million dollar estates didn't pay their taxes for 30 years, which amounted to <$1000.  I have no sympathy.  None.  What are they suing for? 
1.  It was legal and above board.
2.  Anyone could have bought the street.  It went up for auction.
3.  The couple hasn't actually done anything yet.  It's been a few years.

(I mean, I'm sure they'd be happy to sell the street back to them.  How about a million bucks??)

With This Herring

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 10:40:49 AM »
This isn't the first time for this street!!!  Second article on same website

Quote
Last time, their beef was with the state.

San Francisco Assessor Carmen Chu tells us that her records show the Presidio Homeowners Association defaulted on its common-areas tax bill in the 1970s. Eventually, the state took possession of the common areas, and it wasn’t until 1985 that the association regained the title to its swanky sidewalks.

The street and sidewalks’ assessed value at the time was $221 — a figure Chu concedes was “super low.”

If/when the HOA gets the streets and sidewalks back, I think the assessment and taxes should be pushed way up.

In addition to charging for parking, I wonder how much money the couple could make giving tours, renting out the common garden areas for family picnics, selling billboard space...
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Dicey

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 09:47:30 PM »
Wha??? It's happened before? Now I'm totally rooting for the underdogs! Young, scrappy and hungry for the win!
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2Cent

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 10:59:03 PM »
My hubby and I were talking about this a couple of days ago.  Most of my friends think it's hilarious.

One set of couple friends, who live in the Bay Area, say it's horrible, shame on them and they are glad the owners are suing.  (They are also members of an HOA.)

Really?  Owners of multi million dollar estates didn't pay their taxes for 30 years, which amounted to <$1000.  I have no sympathy.  None.  What are they suing for? 
1.  It was legal and above board.
2.  Anyone could have bought the street.  It went up for auction.
3.  The couple hasn't actually done anything yet.  It's been a few years.

(I mean, I'm sure they'd be happy to sell the street back to them.  How about a million bucks??)
The buyers waited for more than a year before announcing they bought it so the buy back term would be closed. I feel the city could have at least taken the trouble to inform the people their street was on auction. This sounds like the start of the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

I remember in the UK there was this guy who bought up old titles that came with little patches of land in the city. Then he would start harassing the people who lived there to pay for the right to cross his land. These people are just trolls.

mm1970

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 11:33:13 AM »
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Presidio-Ter-San-Francisco-CA-94118/15089421_zpid/

My heart.  It sort of bleeds.  Kind of.  I think they should just sell it back at a hefty profit.

MilesTeg

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 11:39:31 AM »
Wasn't sure if this belonged here or in "Mustachianism around the web"

Stemming from a "comedy of errors" that led the HOA to not pay a $14/year tax for 3 decades - looking to recoup $994 in unpaid taxes SF auctioned off their Street and it got bought for 90k - the new owners will now charge residents fees for parking on their own neighborhood street

Only in California :P

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Rich-SF-residents-get-a-shock-Someone-bought-11738236.php

Nice to know even rich neighborhood HOAs are full of incompetent people.

robartsd

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 11:57:39 AM »
This isn't the first time for this street!!!  Second article on same website

Quote
Last time, their beef was with the state.

San Francisco Assessor Carmen Chu tells us that her records show the Presidio Homeowners Association defaulted on its common-areas tax bill in the 1970s. Eventually, the state took possession of the common areas, and it wasn’t until 1985 that the association regained the title to its swanky sidewalks.

The street and sidewalks’ assessed value at the time was $221 — a figure Chu concedes was “super low.”

If/when the HOA gets the streets and sidewalks back, I think the assessment and taxes should be pushed way up.

In addition to charging for parking, I wonder how much money the couple could make giving tours, renting out the common garden areas for family picnics, selling billboard space...
So in 1985, they got their property back from the state after defaulting on tax bills, then they amost immediately continued to fail to pay tax bills (1985 + 30 years = 2015). I say they should have no chance of getting the sale overturned.

If I bought the property, I'd hold the street ransom for at least 250k or monetize parking, tours, and other uses of the "common" areas. I don't think they could charge a toll for entry - the residence sould have little difficulty getting a legal easment if they don't have it already.

nouveauRiche

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 01:02:58 PM »
This is so awesome.  That is all.

kellyincville

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 05:01:50 PM »
If I bought the property, I'd hold the street ransom for at least 250k or monetize parking, tours, and other uses of the "common" areas...

I wouldn't let the homeowners get away with so little.  A quick zillow shows ~30 houses on the circle.  I would say $10k per house per year for reserved parking with yearly inflation increases or $6m to purchase it back. 

JayhawkRacer

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2017, 12:52:51 PM »
So can the couple put a tollbooth up at the end of the street?  $20 per car!  It would be interesting to see what the zoning laws say, if they could charge for on-street parking without it being considered a parking lot instead of a private residential street.

No. Some federal highway act mandates you have to be able to access your residence without taking a toll road. It's why residential islands usually have at least one free ferry route to get to them if there are no bridges.

This might be made more complicated by the private street, I suppose, but I think the basic idea still stands. You have to be allowed to get to the end of your driveway.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 12:54:25 PM by JayhawkRacer »

MgoSam

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2017, 01:50:13 PM »
This story brings a huge smile to my face. That said, I'm guessing that the sale will be revoked even though it's been 2 years as the people that live there have a lot of power and money.

slugline

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2017, 01:57:24 PM »
If the sale is revoked, could this would be an example of a situation where title insurance pays out?

PriestTheRunner

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2017, 03:42:35 PM »
In to follow.  This is great.
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MgoSam

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2017, 02:44:10 PM »
I can't help but love it when things like this happen to the extremely affluent. Seriously they haven't paid their tax bill for 30+ years. I personally hate the fact that many HOA can auction off your house if you don't pay you dues, I've heard of soldiers serving abroad finding out that their house has been auctioned off because they owed $1k, and the person that bought their house for $20k has already flipped it for $100k, but this is a case in which the city waited 30 years to try to collect.

The homeowners are arguing that the city should have given them notice. I'm guessing they did, they simply sent the notice to the address given to them. For a $1000 total bill I highly doubt the city has time to canvass the neighborhood with signs and since it is a private road, I'm guessing that the security guards might even the city officials a hard time getting in.

I would love it if the people that now own the street both charge for parking and open it up for bus tours. I would feel a little bad for the home owners if there were a bus tour as they likely paid a premium to live on a private road and it would likely diminish their home values, but can't help but laugh at the incompetence.

Travis

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2017, 02:55:57 PM »
I can't help but love it when things like this happen to the extremely affluent. Seriously they haven't paid their tax bill for 30+ years.

I'm a big fan of watching the rich and powerful get knocked down a couple pegs, but I still haven't found a good answer for my question earlier.  You say "they" haven't paid their tax bill, but don't they have a proxy handling all of their HOA business for them?  What does the law say when your attorney (or someone with those kinds of powers) screws up?

safiel

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2017, 06:17:28 PM »
Read this a while ago when it was new, but wherever I originally saw the article from suggested that the home owners probably had no idea that any of this was going on.

http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/san-francisco-street-sells-90k-neighbors-aren-happy-article-1.3391975

Quote
Scott Emblidge, the attorney for the Presidio Homeowners Association, said in a letter to the city that the owners failed to pay because the tax bill was mistakenly being sent to the address of an accountant who hadn't worked for the homeowners association since the 1980s, the Chronicle reported.

Seems like a pretty cruddy spot to have been put in, no matter if you're rich, poor, or anywhere in between.  I'd be pretty mad if that happened to me over some bill I didn't even know I had not been paying.

MgoSam

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2017, 09:16:06 PM »
I can't help but love it when things like this happen to the extremely affluent. Seriously they haven't paid their tax bill for 30+ years.

I'm a big fan of watching the rich and powerful get knocked down a couple pegs, but I still haven't found a good answer for my question earlier.  You say "they" haven't paid their tax bill, but don't they have a proxy handling all of their HOA business for them?  What does the law say when your attorney (or someone with those kinds of powers) screws up?

I imagine laws vary state by state, but I would guess that the homeowners could have grounds to sue for negligence. Of course if the homeowners switched proxys back in the 80s and didn't notify them then they may lose.

I saw an article where it stated that the address that tax bill was sent to is a business that has never worked for that HOA.

K-ice

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2017, 10:40:12 PM »
I thought this story was pretty crazy.

Really, you would think the city should let any neighbors within an xx radius know if a property is going up for sale.

Posting to follow because I am sure some of you will stay on top of updates.

Dicey

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2017, 10:45:10 PM »
These residents are very smart, successful people. They knew they changed accounting firms. I'm skeptical of their excuses and looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

Alas, many of these people are fraction of 1%-ers. They can afford big legal guns, hell some of them probably ARE big legal guns. I hope they don't try to win this by ridiculously outspending these small potato types, just by virtue of the fact that they can without breaking a sweat.
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2Cent

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2017, 11:19:36 PM »
I can't help but love it when things like this happen to the extremely affluent. Seriously they haven't paid their tax bill for 30+ years. I personally hate the fact that many HOA can auction off your house if you don't pay you dues, I've heard of soldiers serving abroad finding out that their house has been auctioned off because they owed $1k, and the person that bought their house for $20k has already flipped it for $100k, but this is a case in which the city waited 30 years to try to collect.

The homeowners are arguing that the city should have given them notice. I'm guessing they did, they simply sent the notice to the address given to them. For a $1000 total bill I highly doubt the city has time to canvass the neighborhood with signs and since it is a private road, I'm guessing that the security guards might even the city officials a hard time getting in.

I would love it if the people that now own the street both charge for parking and open it up for bus tours. I would feel a little bad for the home owners if there were a bus tour as they likely paid a premium to live on a private road and it would likely diminish their home values, but can't help but laugh at the incompetence.
Sorry to say it, but this kind of schadenfreude is a really bad attitude. You assume rich people are bad and should be robbed of their money because they have "too much". But globally you are most likely also rich. If you are saving at a mustachian rate you may even be in the 1%. My point is that they are also just people, and some bureaucrat messed up and gave them a huge headache and is probably doing everything to cover his/her ass instead of helping. You should watch the movie "House of Sand and Fog" (or read the book). You won't wish that kind of crap on anyone.

MgoSam

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2017, 10:16:43 AM »

Sorry to say it, but this kind of schadenfreude is a really bad attitude. You assume rich people are bad and should be robbed of their money because they have "too much". But globally you are most likely also rich.
[/quote]

Don't put words in my mouth.

And yes by global standards, and local standards for that matter, I am rich, but being rich doesn't mean that I can not pay taxes and expect no consequences. This country has become a place where the rich can violate the law and essentially buy their way out of punishment.

Dicey

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2017, 10:26:56 AM »
This country has become a place where the rich can violate the law and essentially buy their way out of punishment.
Where on the planet is this not the case?
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bobechs

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2017, 10:42:48 AM »
So can the couple put a tollbooth up at the end of the street?  $20 per car!  It would be interesting to see what the zoning laws say, if they could charge for on-street parking without it being considered a parking lot instead of a private residential street.

No. Some federal highway act mandates you have to be able to access your residence without taking a toll road. It's why residential islands usually have at least one free ferry route to get to them if there are no bridges.

This might be made more complicated by the private street, I suppose, but I think the basic idea still stands. You have to be allowed to get to the end of your driveway.

What you seem to be groping toward is not "some federal highway act"  but more likely the common-law easement by necessity (google it)

Whether that applies to any specific house in this development is fact intensive and would require a law suit (sue! for what?! ... for this) to establish.

Just trying to help with some of the actual words that are used in these types of cases.

MgoSam

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2017, 11:13:55 AM »
This country has become a place where the rich can violate the law and essentially buy their way out of punishment.
Where on the planet is this not the case?

Fair point. I think the only thing that has changed recently is the increased visibility of this disparity.

mm1970

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2017, 11:29:26 AM »
Read this a while ago when it was new, but wherever I originally saw the article from suggested that the home owners probably had no idea that any of this was going on.

http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/san-francisco-street-sells-90k-neighbors-aren-happy-article-1.3391975

Quote
Scott Emblidge, the attorney for the Presidio Homeowners Association, said in a letter to the city that the owners failed to pay because the tax bill was mistakenly being sent to the address of an accountant who hadn't worked for the homeowners association since the 1980s, the Chronicle reported.

Seems like a pretty cruddy spot to have been put in, no matter if you're rich, poor, or anywhere in between.  I'd be pretty mad if that happened to me over some bill I didn't even know I had not been paying.
Except as someone else noted above, it's the SECOND time that it happened.  Also happened in 1985.  They paid their bill and pretty much IMMEDIATELY defaulted again.  Come now.

2Cent

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2017, 10:24:29 PM »
Read this a while ago when it was new, but wherever I originally saw the article from suggested that the home owners probably had no idea that any of this was going on.

http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/san-francisco-street-sells-90k-neighbors-aren-happy-article-1.3391975

Quote
Scott Emblidge, the attorney for the Presidio Homeowners Association, said in a letter to the city that the owners failed to pay because the tax bill was mistakenly being sent to the address of an accountant who hadn't worked for the homeowners association since the 1980s, the Chronicle reported.

Seems like a pretty cruddy spot to have been put in, no matter if you're rich, poor, or anywhere in between.  I'd be pretty mad if that happened to me over some bill I didn't even know I had not been paying.
Except as someone else noted above, it's the SECOND time that it happened.  Also happened in 1985.  They paid their bill and pretty much IMMEDIATELY defaulted again.  Come now.
But that was 27 years ago. I would bet that many people living there moved in after 1985.

mm1970

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2017, 11:48:00 AM »
Read this a while ago when it was new, but wherever I originally saw the article from suggested that the home owners probably had no idea that any of this was going on.

http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/san-francisco-street-sells-90k-neighbors-aren-happy-article-1.3391975

Quote
Scott Emblidge, the attorney for the Presidio Homeowners Association, said in a letter to the city that the owners failed to pay because the tax bill was mistakenly being sent to the address of an accountant who hadn't worked for the homeowners association since the 1980s, the Chronicle reported.

Seems like a pretty cruddy spot to have been put in, no matter if you're rich, poor, or anywhere in between.  I'd be pretty mad if that happened to me over some bill I didn't even know I had not been paying.
Except as someone else noted above, it's the SECOND time that it happened.  Also happened in 1985.  They paid their bill and pretty much IMMEDIATELY defaulted again.  Come now.
But that was 27 years ago. I would bet that many people living there moved in after 1985.

And...what do you look through when you buy a new house?  All of the rules and regulations about taxes, HOAs, ingress/egress, etc.

slugline

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2017, 01:22:31 PM »
I'll admit that I live in a community with an HOA and I have never once thought about whether the HOA has paid taxes on the common areas.

(click, click)    Well, after checking online I do see line items in the budget for taxes, but I wouldn't know if the correct amount of taxes are being paid.

JanF

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2017, 01:41:15 PM »
This is really funny in a slightly unfortunate way. My sympathy was with the homeowners because really...who knew? The law is so complicated sometimes that it can happen to anyone. But after hearing that this is the second time it's happened I'm now laughing guilt-free. It's going to be really interesting how this turns out

AlanStache

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2017, 03:37:04 PM »
I would have no clue if my condos HOA was not paying the Bear Tax for 30 years and I was the treasurer for a few years.  You cant always derive knowledge from a lack of information. 

Actually anyone that would have bought there in the last few decades should have seen a lean from the city for unpaid taxes?  Did the city not file the lean or was this masked within the HOA and not applied to the individual units?  (did not read the article)

Also think about if this can happen to the uber-wealth/powerful/smart how bad do people lower down the ladder get screwed. 
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libertarian4321

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2017, 04:35:51 PM »
Plucky immigrants come to the USA and make an "investment" in America, with a chance to turn this into a money making business.

Make America Great Again?  Or something.

ABC123

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Re: Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2017, 08:53:11 PM »
Another good reason to not buy a house in a HOA neighborhood.