Housing Policy • June 1, 2005
Registration Fees Jump to $154
Rent Board Commissioner Eleanor Walden wants to buy you dessert, and she’s going to use your money to pay for it.
You see, it’s Eleanor’s position that you should pay the highest possible registration fee. Then the Rent Board should try to spend all that money. If, somehow, there is money left at the end of the year, you needn’t worry. Eleanor suggested two weeks ago that any extra money could be used to buy each landlord in Berkeley a box of chocolates.
Seriously. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
The Rent Board ultimately settled upon a 13% increase in your registration fees, resulting in an astounding new $154 per unit fee. As explained in last month’s newsletter, the rent board’s finances have finally crossed the line from offensive to illegal.
DO NOT send your registration money in immediately.
We will be contacting you shortly with instructions for how to preserve your legal rights by paying the fee “under protest.” If you absolutely must pay the fees now, at least include a separate written note explaining that you are paying the fees under protest. State that the fees are being used for expenses that are not “reasonable and necessary” because they exceed the powers and duties of the board, as set forth in the City Charter and Rent Stabilization Ordinance. You can further object that the fees are illegal property taxes, not regulatory fees.