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Off the News

For Monday, June 13, 2011


Tax exemption still a sweet deal

A million here, a million there … pretty soon it adds up to real money.

The property tax exemption for owners of historic homes costs the city almost that much in lost revenue, about $900,000 a year.

The city has enacted a new ordinance aimed at improving the owners' compliance with rules governing home upkeep and accessibility, but the bill kept the low, low tax of $300 a year in place.

You would think that with many of the homes in the million-dollar price range, the owners could afford more than $300. Maybe even a lot more.

Third time would not be the charm

If he gets jail time at his sentencing in August, Rod Tam will be the third City Council member to go behind bars since the turn of the century. He pleaded no contest in state District Court on Tuesday to misdemeanor campaign spending violations and stealing money by overcharging the city for meals at restaurants.

Andy Mirikitani served four years and three months in federal prison from 2002 to 2006 after being convicted of theft, bribery, extortion, wire fraud and witness tampering. Rene Mansho spent a year from 2002 to 2003 in jail for misusing campaign funds and having her Council staff do campaign work on city time.

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