Budget Woes in One of America’s Wealthiest Cities

If San Jose can’t afford its basic public services, what city can?

One would think that the richest city in America would have better roads. And more police officers. And more adequate housing for the poor.

.. Prop. 13 has meant that as real-estate values in California have skyrocketed, longtime homeowners have continued to pay extremely low property taxes.

.. San Jose is battling a number of social problems as it deals with those fiscal challenges. Its poverty rate is 12.9 percent, and there are still hundreds of homeless people, even though the city shut down the homeless people’s encampment known as “The Jungle” in late 2014.  As more people are unable to keep up with rising costs in the region, many end up on the city’s streets.

.. It can be disconcerting to see the poverty amid so much prosperity, especially because poverty in San Jose looks different than it might elsewhere. There are no hulking public apartment complexes here, nor are there homeless people begging for money on the subway, because there isn’t a subway (though there is a downtown light-rail system). Instead, people here stay in their cars and drive from work to home, making it possible to completely avoid seeing poverty at all.