After nearly 40 years of repeated non-payment of property taxes by Presidio Terrace, the City of San Francisco decided to auction it off again in April 2015. This time, my wife, Tina, and I bought the street.
Then, after almost three years under our responsible ownership and getting all property taxes paid on time, the City of San Francisco decided that they're going to make an unprecedented exception. Rather than follow the law as clearly stated by the San Francisco Treasurer-Tax Collector, the Board of Supervisors chose to help the ultra-rich neighbors around Presidio Terrace by trying to steal our street and giving it back to them at no cost.
Stunningly, Supervisor Mark Farrell, who initially recommended the sale in 2015 and later got the unanimous approval of the Board of Supervisors, changed his mind once he saw who bought the street. Very publicly, he called us "bottom-feeding pirates" and "out-of-town speculators" as apparently we weren't the type of people he wants to own this street. He even got Senator Dianne Feinstein to help him publicly pressure some fellow Board members to take back the street for the second time since 1985. He got his way on a split conditional decision 7-4 on November 28, 2017.
On December 12, 2017, the Board of Supervisors finalized their conditional decision. However, the street fight is not over. Overruling clear state law is not right. It's an unfair violation that threatens all our rights as law-abiding citizens when the wealthy and well-connected can knowingly break the law for decades and still get off scot-free.
We've filed our suit against the City of San Francisco to challenge their decision and will be in for the long haul. Obviously, all this legal effort is not cheap. But, this fight is not just about the street. This is about standing up for the rule of law and defending property rights for everyone who is not super wealthy or doesn't look a certain way. If the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is allowed to go against black and white state laws to help a favored few in this unprecedented case, all our property rights will then be at risk of being taken at the whims of a few politicians.
We'll keep updating this page with the latest developments. We've been quite moved by the tremendous community support for our cause. If you'd like to join our cause to stand up against the rise of legal inequality, any contribution would be enormously appreciated.
- Mike Kao
- Ge Vang
- Ye-Jee Kim
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