What is the San Francisco Rent Board Fee?

Updated on Sunday, March 13, 2022


I got a Rent Board Fee Annual Notice for the first time this year which says:

"The owner of each residential unit in San Francisco, as specified in Administrative Code Chapter 37A, shall pay annually to the City and County of San Francisco a Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board fee."

Which sounds like they really want you to pay. They go on to say that from the 2021-2022 tax year the Rent Board has to collect directly from the property owner rather than being bundled on the property tax bill.

This seems crazy. Not that I'm advocating kicking off another recall election but it must be a monumental waste of resources. Suddenly you're sending me letters and wasting my time as well as paying extra credit card / check processing fees all for $59 which is a pretty trivial fraction of my property tax.

It turns out that I don't even need to pay - owner occupied units are exempt. This made me wonder if I have been inadvertently subsidizing the Rent Board for years but as far as I can tell this has never been included with my property taxes. It certainly isn't broken out like other special fees (and San Francisco feels like it needs to let me know that 0.05% of my tax is going toward restoring the bay). You can opt out of the tax on a sumptuous new Rent Board portal, which can't have been cheap to build.

So what gives? I haven't seen any press on this. Please let me know if I missed something. My best guess is that whatever records were used to add the tax to the property bill were thought to be incomplete and so the Rent Board is trying to expand its tax base to all of the undeclared in-law units and casually rented rooms in the city. Less charitably they might be hoping that a lot of property owners pay the new bill without checking the details. Regardless, if we need a Rent Board can it not just be paid for out of city funds instead of wasting trees and time and money on an elaborate separate payment system?

(Related: San Francisco November 2020 Ballot Measures; Even Shitier - Citibank Remortgage Scam; California November 2020 Propositions)

(You might also like: San Francisco from Twin Peaks; I would do anything to reduce gun violence, but I won't do that (an open letter to Joe Manchin); Stars from Pine Mountain Lake)

(All Politics Posts)

Timelapse, Week of Jan 10

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Jan 10-16

An experiment in creating a timelapse from a week of walking around San Francisco. Not sure how long I'll keep this up for and only managed four sequences this week: three different views from Grand View park (I go there a lot) and one of the penguin sculpture at Lake Merced.

(Related: Crystal World; Mariposa Loop; Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill and Museum Concourse)

(You might also like: Merced; What if the Senate Voted Proportionally to Population; San Francisco Stars)

(More Timelapses)

Build Back Betterer

Build Back Betterer

ITHCWY has obtained an exclusive transcript of the speech that President Biden should have given the other week. We can’t reveal our source in the West Wing, but have made every effort to verify that the country would be on a completely different course if Biden had picked up the right draft on his way out the door.

THE PRESIDENT: Like many Americans I’ve wondered why we can’t get the basics done. Basics that the majority of Americans support and that most other developed countries take for granted. Basics like education, healthcare, childcare, and stewardship of the environment for future generations.

I’ve been having these quiet conversations, mostly with Senators Sinema and Manchin, whose names I would barely know if Americans’ votes counted the same. I’m tired of being quiet! (Applause.)

Folks, I’m the Commander in Chief of our nation’s great amed services. The 107th Congress passed an irresponsibly broad and open ended Authorization for Use of Military Force which I am today using to declare war on American Mediocrity. (Applause.)

In 2005 I cried as Howard Plummer died at the hands of Serbian rebels And then laughed as Navy SEAL lieutenant Shane Wolfe took care of his family. The Pacifier left me with a conviction that our youngest children are best handled by special forces. I hereby task the SEALS, Rangers, Delta, and the rest of SOCOM with establishing universal pre-K and free childcare so that hard working Americans can focus on their vital missions. (Applause.)

F-35s are cool, when they’re not spontaneously combusting, and I love a presser on an aircraft carrier as much as the next President. But the Pentagon has determined that climate change is a threat to national security. We need to be equipped to fight the current war, not the last one. All current Pentagon procurement programs are canceled. We must protect our world beating defense industry and so General Dynamics, Raytheon and other contractors will immediately pivot to solar, wind and carbon capture and storage technologies.

Our great intelligence community will play a role as well, by infiltrating deep behind enemy lines and then planting a tree or two.

We can’t fight this war on mediocrity if we’re sick. That’s why I’m directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to start providing healthcare for any (and I mean any) potential future veteran in addition to our existing veterans. (Applause.) And we can’t fight this war if we’re dumb. The Military, Naval and Air Force academies will start to offer free university education to every American, in exchange for a year of national service in uniform or otherwise. (Applause.)

Our seniors deserve better as well. The Coast Guard will develop a new generation of Cutters that include thousands of staterooms. We will protect our maritime borders while providing accommodation, community and a diverse range of entertainment to retired Americans.

These programs will pay for themselves as we stop wasting money on expensive boondoggles and our forces will be too exhausted for any misadventures overseas. The only part of Build Back Better that won’t get done is reversing the SALT tax rise and folks, I’ve had second thoughts about that anyway. (Applause.)

May God bless you all.

2:22 P.M. EST

(Related: Episode Four; San Francisco November 2020 Ballot Measures; California November 2020 Propositions)

(You might also like: Surfing Dolphins; I really want to just blame Boehner...; Catfood WebCamSaver)

(All Politics Posts)

Summit Loop, San Bruno Mountain

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Summit Loop, San Bruno Mountain

Summit Loop, San Bruno Mountain

Summit Loop is a three mile hike around San Bruno Mountain, a 1,319 peak just south of San Francisco. For some reason, possibly a lack of desire to wrestle with bridges, it has become a family favorite for the first hike of the new year. Fantastic views and scenery at any time of the year, although it is especially good in the spring with all the wildflowers. I'm adding a fresh post on this hike as I noticed the GPS track is broken on the last one (I'll redirect that here) and I have a video of the hike to add as well (a little cloud focused, but it was that kind of day):

Hike starts at: 37.695247, -122.43443. View in Google Earth.


San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain State Park has outstanding views of San Francisco, the Pacific out to the Farallon Islands and much of the bay. We did the three mile summit loop (the wrong way round, San Bruno pros do it counter-clockwise).

Hike starts at 37.6888964,-122.437008 (Google Earth).

(Related: San Francisco Shoreline Timelapse; Mount Davidson; Twin Peaks)

(You might also like: Draw the rest of the Hummingbird; Stars over Columbia State Historic Park; Summer Solstice 2022)

(Hike Map)

Links for January 2022

San Francisco Shoreline Timelapse

Updated on Saturday, February 12, 2022

San Francisco Shoreline Timelapse

Timelapse around the shoreline of San Francisco:

This could be arbitrarily long of course, but I only had a day to shoot and picked six spots: the lookout at Fort Funston, the Camera Obscura next to the Cliff House, Eagles Point on the Lands End trail, the Marina Yacht Harbor, Pier 7 and the Giants Promenade Pier.

Shot on a Sony A7C with the 20mm 1.8 G and a Ronin SC. This is the first time I've used the Ronin SC for timelapse and it sucks. Works great for video, can't pan 180 degrees in timelapse mode without introducing shake though. Processed using LTTimelapse, Lightroom, DaVinci Resolve (with a lot of stabilization to fix the Ronin issues) and Filmstro Pro. The finished product is 4K, 60fps. Filmed December 30, 2021 (I usually do something on New Year's Eve but the clouds looked more promising the day before this year).

(Previously: San Francisco New Year's Eve Timelapse 2020)

(Related: Año Nuevo; Point Reyes - Drakes Estero; San Francisco November 2016 Propositions)

(You might also like: San Francisco New Year's Eve Timelapse; Catfood: Cleat; Build Back Betterer)

(More Timelapses)

ITHCWY Newsletter for December 2021


Some Catfood updates - WebCamSaver has been migrated to .NET 4.8 and has a code signing certificate (less nagging from Windows during install) and updated notifications. The list of webcams has also been updated. Catfood Earth for Android now supports Material You. This was so painful that there is a companion 'making of' post so I can whine about it.

With all the news about San Francisco's crime tsunami I decided to look at the data. Here's an animation of all the crime from 2003 to 2021. Spoiler alert, the only really interesting trend is that there is less of it, and 2020 was a massive dip which makes all of the year on year increase statistics being paraded around at the moment a little less interesting. There is a good contrarian take in The Atlantic as well: The Great Shoplifting Freak-Out.

A few hikes in southern California: Sawmill Flats (in Mount San Jacinto State Park), Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon (amazing) and Barker Dam and Wall Street Mill (in Joshua Tree NP). One in Sonoma: Creekside Trail to Big Leaf Trail Loop.

Windows 11... it's great except for the bits you need to use.

Also a Barn Owl.


Links for December 2021

(Related: The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall; I didn't think I'd ever fall for fake news on Facebook; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service)

(You might also like: Animation of a year of Global Cloud Cover; GGB; Coronavirus Hikes: June 2020)

(All Etc Posts)

Book reviews for December 2021

Inhibitor Phase by Alastair Reynolds

Inhibitor Phase by Alastair Reynolds



Dolphin Junction: Stories by Mick Herron

Dolphin Junction: Stories by Mick Herron



Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson

Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson



(Related: Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; #Resist; The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall)

(You might also like: Summer Solstice 2015 in Catfood Earth; Grape Plasma; Sunset #9)

(All Book Reviews)

Links for December 2021

Lake Merced Timelapse

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022


A timelapse of Lake Merced in San Francisco, California on a stormy December day.

(Previously: Merced)

(Related: Stars over Lake Tahoe; San Bruno Mountain 360 4K; Cause and Effect, or Strange Skies over San Francisco)

(You might also like: Oakland Hills (Longer Walk); Starlink Train; Point Reyes Deer)

(More Timelapses)

I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison's blog.