A Series of Unfortunate Events

If you support raising taxes on property owners, particularly those who own rental property, but also want rental prices to not go up, you may find that you never get exactly what you want.

If you do get both of those things, and receive higher taxes along with rent control, you may find that rental housing quantity goes down. And if you legislate to get three things: rent control, higher taxes, and forcing rental housing supply from going down, say, through zoning laws; you may have to contend with greater numbers of people you find that now want to rent the same rental properties.

You probably won’t get four things: higher taxes, rent control, prevention of decline in housing quantity, and no new people competing to rent the same housing supply.

But if you do…

You might expect required and very long, rationed waiting lists for apartments and other rental property, black markets, reduced housing quality and maintenance of housing, angry landlords, and an even angrier population of renters who don’t understand what just happened and vote for or demand more of exactly what got them stuck in their situation in the first place.

This post was inspired by economics and the writing of Lemony Snicket.

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