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I love Millbrae

I've lived here for 12 years and I have to say, I'm just in love with this little town.  I do hope people continue to bash it so it stays our little secret, but I adore its weather, its location, its beautiful streets, quaint businesses, and low crime, and I pinch myself all the time that I live here.

But if it helps, my official response to outsiders is "Millbrae Sucks - Don't move here!  It's hell on earth!"
Doug Radtke November 19, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Fazsha, I complete agree. I would have moved elsewhere after college if I didn't love our convenient location, great weather, and cozy atmosphere. That said, I think there is a lot that can be done better. There is a lot folks don't know about going on behind closed doors that they should know about - and there are low cost and no cost problems that can be easily fixed. Expecting more than the status quo I think is fair enough, right? We do however live in a great town, if I didn't love it - I'd move!
Michele November 22, 2013 at 01:45 PM
This town has some good points. Broadway from Taylor down towards Millbrae Ave is terrible. We have 2 Italian rests. Rosies, Fiddlers,Big Mouth Burger and the rest are Asian. We need a good Steak House a good Wine Bar. San Mateo and Burlingame have the best places to eat. When you go down their main streets it does not look like ours. Their's look inviting and welcoming. I am so tired of every time there is a new restaurant coming to Millbrae it's ASIAN!! We have to many of them. Our little town has changed a lot, I have been here since 1988 and the people are rude and unfriendly now a days.
Concerned Citizen December 04, 2013 at 05:20 AM
My family has been here since 1940, and the quality of life has deteriorated with the way the city government is self-serving, and the airport is ever abusive with the influx of airport traffic and sound! I am beginning to think that SFO, just wants to engulf the entire city! Make us miserable enough so we all move out! Plus we have no police dept, and the Sheriff's dept from San Mateo, has little time, energy, or concern for this place! Property taxes should be lowered to reflect the damage all these things have done!
Concerned Citizen December 04, 2013 at 05:31 AM
There is nothing to attract me to the downtown area for something to do! I go to San Mateo, or down as far as Mountain View. Then, the one big event in Millbrae, the art and wine festival, closes too early, with mean, rude sheriffs telling everyone to leave. Millbrae has an unfriendly city government, and mostly, rude, unfriendly people, who race down the residential streets, not caring who they might hit! Change has to be made to salvage this place, or it will become just another run down, "airport city!"
Concerned Citizen December 04, 2013 at 09:35 AM
I guess someone SHOULD be pinched, so they can wake up and see that Millbrae has many problems that can lead to its demise! Residents should also pinch themselves hard enough to remind them to GO VOTE! We end up with a clown crew, because people aren't informed enough about the candidates, and sit back and do nothing when there is obvious mismanagement by morons, and the greedy, who are running things.....and it is about to get WORSE!
fazsha December 04, 2013 at 09:52 AM
Cheryl, property taxes are routed by the state back to the county, not to the city; also, the property tax rate is administered state-wide, so it's not possible to "lower property taxes" in Millbrae in any meaningful way. There is nothing wrong with greed - would you turn down a million dollars? - but if someone is dishonest, that is a different matter. I love the fact that Millbrae isn't the most attractive downtown; the last thing I want is a traffic jam getting through Broadway. We have enough traffic as it is without being a destination spot.
Doug Radtke December 04, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Fazsha, that is incorrect. Property taxes are collected by the county then routed to localities. Property tax is meant to be the primary source of funding for localities for general benefit expenditures (admin, public safety, police, fire, public works), hence why this money is put into every city's general fund. Sales tax is what you're thinking of. That is collected by the state Board of Equalization, then distributed back to localities. Fazsha, the base property tax rate is controlled by Proposition 13. I question if you are a home owner if you are not aware of what agency you're cutting your check to - the San Mateo County Tax Collector's Office (who collect on behalf of the County Assessor's Office). The fact is, the majority of additional taxes on your property tax bill are impose by the locality. Millbrae has the Library Bond, Measure M (From the San Mateo Union High School District), Measure N (Millbrae School District), and Measure X among the additional taxes. When it is all said and done, this is an additional $1,000 approximately to most homeowner's bill. This is not an entirely unreasonable amount, but the usage of the money towards children's education wasn't as effective as I would like. The Measure M, N, and X went to pay for union wages to fix the schools. The waste came from poor construction planning, delays, and a lack of accountability from the contractors. One needs to only ask about the Mills High School solar panel debacle (they put them up, took them down, put them up again) due to the sky lights much wasted labor. But isn't that all public works projects?
fazsha December 04, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Let me explain, Doug. RE taxes are controlled by the state - the county assessor is not and cannot be controlled by the county. All exemptions come from the state, not the county. Yes, there are incremental increases for local taxes, but these are small IN RELATION TO YOUR ENTIRE RE TAX BILL. 80%+ of your bill is driven by the 1% county rate (really, state rate), and yes, while the money gets sent back to the cities, the city has no ability to make a significant dent in the bill, only a minor adjustment. The writer said we should lower taxes IN MILLBRAE; I doubt if she was looking for a 2% reduction. So, yes, the county assessors collect the tax, but they are merely tools of the state. Read the attached. http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/pdf/pub29.pdf
Michele December 04, 2013 at 01:13 PM
I rather have downtown more attractive we need to build our town up not knock it down and that is what we are doing as of now! I am sorry Broadway looks like little china town, this is why it looks uninviting to most people. The store fronts look run down and the new place that is being built on El Camino looks like an eye sore sorry this is not China or China town but it sure looks like it.
Doug Radtke December 04, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Fazsha, I worked directly for the Franchise Tax Board and communicated with with the Board of Equalization on behalf of taxpayers, my clients, in addition to currently being a municipal auditor for cities in the Peninsula at my prior CPA firm before accepting my position with KPMG. I'm saying this in the nicest way possible: I don't need to be educated on how the system works, I am fully aware of "how it works". Have you personally written confirmations of taxes received by a city or examined county remittances on behalf of a property tax audit? Probably not. I have. All the wire transfers and remittances come directly from the county. The BOE simply provides oversight, appeals, and policy. If you want to get very technical faszha, the BOE does not even control the rate - that must go through the legislative process. But I digress, your definition of what is "minor" could be a significant amount of money to somebody on a fixed income. Would you consider $1,000 to be minor or the difference between buying groceries and paying your utility bills? I think I clearly defined in my comment what type of property tax reduction our local government CAN reduce... and that is all the payments towards the bond measures that are currently on our statements.
Doug Radtke December 04, 2013 at 01:23 PM
I would like to repeat for clarity, property tax is ADMINSTERED at the LOCAL level. The legislative process drives the rate, and at levels like Millbrae - they can pass additional bond measures, special assessments, and the like. Proposition 13 provides the guidance for your property tax bill. Ultimately, because of Proposition 13 farszha, only localities can push for more tax revenue through additional measures and assessments - which is exactly what they do.
Theo Varelas December 04, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Fazsha - I don't think you should comment on matters where you have no idea what you are talking about. Please go sit in the corner and go pinch yourself.

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