• Established in 1972 · CBPA has over four decades of service to the commercial industrial retail real estate industry
  • Archive for November, 2010

    Nov 12

    ELECTION RESULTS

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    For any of you that missed last week’s email, here are full election results from the Secretary of State.

    Nov 12

    2010 SUCCESSES

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    In politics and public policy, it is sometime too easy to focus on the negative.  So, we’d like to point out some of the successes of the commercial, industrial, retail real estate industry from this past year:

    Legislation Engaged on more than 500 pieces of Legislation in the California State Capitol.   49 bills “High Priority”.  31 Opposed – 15 of those killed, 16 vetoed.  8 supported bills signed by the Governor.  0 bills opposed by CBPA signed into law.

    Split-Roll Property Tax – In the past year, CBPA stopped two serious efforts to eliminate protections of Prop. 13 for commercial real estate.  The first, pushed by several public employee unions, proposed an initiative to enact an immediate 55% increase in all private non-residential state property taxes.  The second was a legislative bill that would have automatically reassessed all corporate commercial properties every three years.  We know more proposals will be back in the New Year.

    Like-Kind Exchanges – CBPA led an effort to stop two separate bills that would have taken away the ability of California companies to use 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges.  Bills such as this that take California out of conformity with federal law as a way to raise additional revenue for the state are extremely harmful to any company that owns properties in multiple states.

    Mandatory Commercial Building Benchmarking – Have led the statewide effort and put together a commercial real estate workgroup to help the CA Energy Commission to write the rules implementing the states mandatory building benchmarking law.  Because of this effort, issues related to multi-tenanted building and shopping centers have been highlighted and given priority to resolve.

    Repeal of Business Tax Incentives – Defeat SB 1272 (Wolk; D – Davis), which would require the state to automatically repeal any new tax incentives after seven years. This bill would have applied performance metrics to private companies receiving tax funds, which the state was unwilling to apply to state agencies, taxes, or regulations.

    Stopped Increased Water Fees – Defeated ACA 18 (Liu; D-Torrance), which would have authorized stormwater and urban runoff management fees or charges to be exempt from 2/3’s voter approval requirements. 

    Green Building Codes – After successfully fending-off several attempts to mandate LEED standards statewide for all commercial buildings, CBPA has helped direct efforts more appropriately to the state’s Building Standards Committee.  CBPA lead an industrywide effort to engage our experts in the public process and helped shape the nation’s first statewide “green building code” (known as CALGreen).  These codes balance environmental issues with economic feasibility and technological achievability to provide industry with a standard it can successfully meet.

    Code Adoption – CBPA sponsored legislation, AB 1693 (Ma; D – San Francisco), which modifies the interim code adoption cycle and extends it to an 18 month process.  This will give industry and local governments additional time to understand and adopt energy and building code changes that impact both new construction and tenant improvements.

    CEQA and AB 32 – We worked very hard to see AB 1846 (V. M. Pérez; D-Coachella) pass.  This bill streamlines the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) approval process for certain projects by allowing industries subject to compliance with greenhouse gas regulations under AB 32 to go through an expedited environmental review using a focused environmental impact report.

    Financing for Energy Efficiency – Worked to see AB 1873 (Huffman; D-San Rafael) pass.  This new law makes it more attractive for local governments to offer Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs and lower the interest rate of loans to business owners for energy and water efficiency improvements to existing buildings.

    Nov 12

    ELECTION FOLLOW-UP – COOLEY PULLS AHEAD

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    In the one race that threatens the Democratic Party hegemony in the statewide offices, Republican Attorney General Candidate Steve Cooley looks very likely to win the razor-thin close race over Kamala Harris.  On Election Day, Harris had a thin lead, but as more result from vote-by-mail ballots have been counted Cooley has pulled ahead.  Should Cooley win the race, it will mark the first time in 12 years that a Republican has occupied the top law enforcement office. 

    Always an important post, now it is especially so.  Aside from providing the one counter balance to one-party-rule in Sacramento, Cooley will play an important role in assuring that Prop. 26 will be implemented in the way intended to limit the ability to hike taxes.  Cooley will also conduct the important role of reviewing and approving statewide propositions.  This is especially important to our industry, as we are expecting a run at split roll property tax.

    Nov 12

    DUELING CALLS FOR SPECIAL SESSIONS ON THE BUDGET

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    Governor-elect Brown said weeks ago during the campaign that he would call a special session to deal with the budget crisis; but in a not-unusual move, current Governor Schwarzenegger beat him to it and has called his seventh special session (in eight years) to deal with the budget “crisis.”  Yesterday Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency and called for a special session to begin the day the new Legislature is sworn in.

    All the hubbub is in reaction to the Legislative Analyst’s announcement that just one month after the longest budget stalemate in California’s history, the shortfall has grown to $25.4 billion. 

    “By declaring a fiscal emergency and calling the special session, the governor hopes that the new legislators can tackle many of the problems left from the budget that he and the outgoing Legislature approved 34 days ago. That spending plan — passed 100 days into the fiscal year — is the latest in modern California history. The goal of the session is to address the estimated $6.1-billion shortfall in the current budget, said  Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear.” 

    We wish you luck…

    Nov 12

    NEW BUILDING CODES TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 1

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    Developers with projects planned for the near future are being reminded that permit applications submitted after the end of the year, will be governed by the new California Building Code which takes effect on January.

    Nov 5

    FLORIDA LAND USE AMENDMENT 4 GOES DOWN

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    And in a closely watched Florida vote that our industry had significant worries about it spreading to other states if passed, was handily defeated.  “Amendment 4,” which proposed requiring a taxpayer-funded referendum for all changes to local government comprehensive land-use plans, was defeated by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  Thank you to all of the companies and industry associations that helped make that defeat possible.

    Nov 5

    CONNIE CONWAY NEW ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN LEADER

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    In a unanimous decision, Assemblymember Martin Garrick (R-Carlsbad) has decided to step down as the Assembly Republican Leader, and be replaced by Assemblymember Connie Conway (R-Visalia).  We thank Mr. Garrick for his service and applying his deep understanding of our industry to analyzing and advocating on behalf of legislation.  Ms. Conway has also been a very good friend of the industry and we look forward to helping her move the agenda forward in Sacramento.

    Nov 5

    ELECTION RESULTS SUMMARY

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    For full election results, click here to get all the numbers from the Secretary of State.

    California went against the national grain and it was a banner election for California Democrats.  Every major statewide office is now held by Democrats. 

    In an election when ten states across the nation replaced Democratic Governors with Republicans, not only did California do the opposite, but Jerry Brown won by a whopping 13 points. 

    Democrats also made a one seat gain in the State Legislature.  Our state Assembly now has a 52-28 Democratic majority.  The state Senate remains unchanged with a 25-15 Democratic majority.  Both chambers are now just 2 votes away from the “magic” number of having the 2/3 supermajority.

    In the Central Valley, Republican Anthony Cannella was able to hold on to the number one targeted seat beating Democratic Assemblymember Anna Caballero 52% to 47%.  Aside from being the focus of intense spending by both sides, this race is significant because Ms. Caballero staked much of her platform on stopping growth and being anti-development.

    The measure to suspend AB 32 (our Global Warming Act of 2006) lost big time, with 61% of the people opposing it.  Although we did not oppose the measure because it was flawed, this result will strengthen the resolve of the regulatory agencies that are cranking down on greenhouse gas rules; and will embolden environmental advocates even further to come up with more legislative ideas next year, pointing to the defeat of this measure as a mandate from the people.

    And Proposition 25, the measure to change our budget vote requirement from 2/3 to majority, also passed.  The actual impact of this measure is unclear.  We believe there will be a fight over whether this changes the threshold needed to raise taxes as part of the state budget package and ultimately will be resolved in the courts.

    However, we do have three statewide bright spots in this election: 

    Proposition 22 redevelopment fund protection passed.  This will help protect local money from state “raids.”

    Defeat of Proposition 24, a measure sponsored by public employee unions, that would have repealed business tax breaks negotiated in last year’s budget. 

    Proposition 26 passed; this measure does a number of things, but basically clarifies what is a fee and what is a tax (needing 2/3’s vote).  This will provide protection to businesses by clarifying the need for a direct nexus between the fees charged by governmental entities and the activities those monies can be used for.

    We know we didn’t cover everything here, and we are sure there is lots of good news about business friendly candidates winning at the local level.  If you have any questions, comments, or want more context about any of the results, please feel free to contact us.  And again, for full election results, click here to get all the numbers from the Secretary of State.

    Nov 5

    CONGRATULATIONS GOVERNOR BROWN

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    On behalf of the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry, we would like to congratulate Governor Brown on his decisive victory.  California continues to face many challenges and we hope we can help the Governor address them in a positive manner.  We stand at the ready to assist the new Administration in understanding how the real estate sector can help lead the economic recovery in California.

    Yesterday, Governor-Elect Brown was already under the Capitol Dome, meeting with legislative leaders and finance officials.  He is giving every indication that he wants to tackle fiscal problems in the state as soon as he is sworn in, and we hope he can be successful in getting California back on track, ending years of out of balance budgets.

    CBPA continues to stress that California needs an economic growth strategy and that growing our economy, not cuts or new taxes, is the ultimate solution.

    Congratulations Governor Brown.