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Blaming the 'Burbs

The contributing factors to San Francisco's skyrocketing rents are as varied and layered as the coat of a burrowing owl, and today in Slate writer Henry Grabar zeroes in on one: the suburbs. As SF Planning director John Rahaim told Slate, the region's three biggest cities—San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose—can't shoulder the burden of housing the bulk of the population attracted by jobs that are spread across the Bay Area. It all goes back to skewed tax incentives: Barred from hiking property taxes by 1978's Proposition 13, the suburbs chased revenue brought by commercial development, but had no incentive to juice the housing stock in tandem. Give it a read. [TechCrunch; Slate/Photo: Streetsblog]