Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Thoughts on this Deconstruction Article from the Wall Street Journal

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There have been many news articles and video segments on deconstruction over the years, but never in such a prominent publication as the Wall Street Journal. Most of the previous pieces, as is the case with this article, understandably approach the subject from a somewhat superficial standpoint appropriate for a layman's audience.

Much of the activity in this industry is in the west, especially in the Bay Area near the Silicon Valley in California. Within our industry's national internal dialog, the San Francisco Bay Area is often referred to as The Wild, Wild West of deconstruction, due to all the various individuals grabbing for the spoils of an industry built on selling questionable tax deductions every bit as much as it sells deconstruction.

I applaud Pui-Win Tam’s great work covering this topic and I hope this article will be a tipping point for Kamala Harris, California's Attorney General, to focus on the many players in the Bay Area that are routinely breaking California laws in their solicitation of donations for deconstruction. Purely for-profit "professionals" like appraisers, contractors, and store owners who have blatant conflicts of interest are selling materials and offering big tax deductions without any benefit going to any non-profit, whatsoever.

As president of a California Non-profit that deconstructs homes, I often cringe a bit when I see certain names mentioned in articles that otherwise promote our industry. I am hopeful we will see more reporting on this and more extensive vetting of these sources to ensure they are operating within the law.
Read Pui-Wing Tam’s Wall Street Journal Article here.

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