The millionaire homeowners in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the U.S. could soon be shelling out parking fees to a couple of first-generation immigrants, all because they couldn’t be bothered to pay their taxes.
The residents of Presidio Terrace—an area which has been called “San Francisco’s only real gated community” and one that’s been home to the likes of Senator Dianne Feinstein and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi—apparently haven’t been paying their property taxes for three decades.
How much are those property taxes, by the way? A mere $14 a year. Less than what you Venmo’d your BFF for happy hour the other week.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, this prompted the city of San Francisco to say “WE ARE RECLAIMING OUR TIME” and auction off the street in order to make up for the deficit. In other words, the common parts of the street that homeowners are usually responsible for, such as sidewalks and medians, have now been sold off. They are currently the property of Michael Cheng and Tina Lam, a real estate investor and an engineer living in San Jose, who paid just over $90,000 for Presidio Terrace.
And the best part? The couple are considering charging the owners of the multimillion dollar mansions to park their cars on the street.
From The Chronicle:
[Cheng] and his wife see plenty of financial opportunity — especially from the 120 parking spaces on the street that they now control.
“We could charge a reasonable rent on it,” Cheng said.
And if the Presidio Terrace residents aren’t interested in paying for parking privileges, perhaps some of their neighbors outside the gates — in a city where parking is at a premium — would be.
FUCK 👏🏽 IT 👏🏽 UP 👏🏽 MICHAEL!
Basically, Cheng and Lam caught a bunch of lazy rich folk sleeping and saw an opportunity. Ladies and gentleman, may I introduce you to the AMERICAN DREAM.
Of course, the Presidio Terrace homeowners are pissed, because they’ll either have to pay to park on their own streets, or let commoners who are willing to pay for street parking into their fancy guarded neighborhood.
And if these delinquent millionaires were expecting the city of San Francisco to shed tears for them, guess again.
“Ninety-nine percent of property owners in San Francisco know what they need to do, and they pay their taxes on time — and they keep their mailing address up to date,” Amanda Fried told The Chronicle on behalf of the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office.
And in a particularly savory plot twist: Presidio Terrace enforced racial covenants—meaning only white home-buyers were allowed to purchase homes in the neighborhood—until the Supreme Court found such housing discrimination to be unconstitutional in 1948. As scholar Lynne Horiuchi noted in the book Landscapes of Mobility: Culture, Politics, and Placemaking, the people who built Presidio Terrace “characterized Japanese settlement...as a ‘Japanese Invasion’ and guaranteed in their marketing brochure...that ‘no one but those of Caucasian race can occupy any building in the Terrace.”
And now an Asian couple, one of whom is an immigrant from Taiwan, is reaping some decades-old karmic justice.
There goes the neighborhood!