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  • Archive for April 28th, 2014

    Apr 28

    JOB KILLER BILLS NAMED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The California Chamber of Commerce released its annual list of “job killer” bills, calling attention to the negative impact that 27 proposed measures would have on California’s job climate and economic recovery if they were to become law.  Many of the bills we are tracking and working hard to defeat are on the list.

    Here are a few that would have a direct impact on the commercial, industrial, retail real estate sector:

    AB 1522 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Paid Sick Leave — Increases employer mandates by requiring all employers, large and small, to provide all employees in California with paid sick leave, and threatens employers with statutory penalties as well as litigation for alleged violations.

    AB 2604 (Brown; D-San Bernardino) Exposes Employers to Disproportionate Workers’ Compensation Penalties — Dramatically increases penalties and costs for delayed payments and will result in disproportionate penalty awards that are significantly greater than the amount of the delayed payment.

    SB 935 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Minimum Wage — Unfairly increases employer costs by increasing the minimum wage to $13 by 2017 and then increased thereafter according to the Consumer Price Index.

    AB 1897 (Hernández; D-West Covina) Contractor Liability — Unfairly imposes liability on any contracting entity for the contractor’s wage and hour violations, lack of workers’ compensation coverage, and/or failure to remit employee contributions, despite the lack of any evidence that the contracting entity controlled the working conditions or wages of the contractor’s employees.

    AB 2372 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Split Roll Change of Ownership — Unfairly targets commercial property by redefining “change of ownership” so that such property is more frequently reassessed, which will ultimately lead to higher property taxes that will be passed on to tenants, consumers, and potentially employees.

    AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Unproven Wage Liens — Creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

    AB 2420 (Nazarian; D-Studio City) Significantly Limits In-State Energy Development — Places California businesses at a disadvantage, increasing fuel costs, impeding job growth and suppressing property, income and excise tax revenues, by allowing local governments to impose local moratoriums on well stimulation treatments.

    SB 1021 (Wolk; D-Davis) Split Roll — Discriminates against commercial property through split roll by allowing a school district to impose a higher parcel tax against commercial property as opposed to residential property.

    SB 1372 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Increased Tax Rate — Threatens to significantly increase the corporate tax rate on publicly held corporations and financial institutions up to 15% according to the wages paid to employees in the United States, and threatens to increase that rate by 50% thereafter, if the corporation or institution reduces its workforce in the United States and simultaneously increases its contractors.

    AB 52 (Gatto; D-Los Angeles) CEQA Consultation with Tribes— Creates new opportunities for California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) litigation by requiring lead agencies to engage in “meaningful consultation” with Native American tribes regarding land use projects that could have an adverse impact on a tribal cultural resource.

    AB 1330 (J. A. Pérez; D-Los Angeles) New Double Penalties — Discourages investment and expansion in some disadvantaged regions of the state by doubling most fines and penalties issued by the Air Resources Board (ARB), Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and Air Quality Management Districts (AQMDs) on facilities located there.

    ACA 3 (Campos; D-San Jose) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.

    ACA 8 (Blumenfield; D-San Fernando Valley) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners to finance local public safety, transportation, water and recreation infrastructure by lowering the vote threshold for bonded debt supported by property taxes from two-thirds to 55%.

    SB 691 (Hancock; D-Berkeley) Dramatically Increases Pollution Penalties — Dramatically increases existing strict-liability penalties for nuisance-based, non-vehicular air-quality violations without adequately defining what types and levels of pollution would trigger those penalties.

    SCA 4 (Liu; D-La Cañada Flintridge) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.

    SCA 7 (Wolk; D-Davis) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.

    SCA 8 (Corbett; D-San Leandro) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.

    SCA 9 (Corbett; D-San Leandro) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.

    SCA 11 (Hancock; D-Oakland) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.

    Click here to read the full list.

    Apr 28

    CALIFORNIA DROUGHT RESOURCES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages. The state has continued to lead the way to make sure California is able to cope with an unprecedented drought.

    The Governor’s proclamation will enable several important actions to be taken urgently as we head into several months of the dry season.  The proclamation expedites the approval of water transfers, emergency drinking water projects, and habitat monitoring and protection.  It also streamlines normal regulations to enable fire protection, recycled water projects, and purchasing of equipment for emergency drought response.

    The proclamation also calls on Californians to  take specific actions to avoid wasting water including limiting lawn watering and car washing, recommends that schools, parks and golf courses limit the use of potable water for irrigation; and asks that hotels and restaurants give customers options to conserve water by only serving water upon request and other measures.  The Water Board will work with local water agencies to ensure such water conservation measures are implemented.

    Click here to share this Emergency Proclamation of Drought with others who may be interested, as well information on the state’s water conservation campaign. Click here for up-to-date information on the state’s drought response.

    Apr 28

    EV MANDATE BILL AMENDED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In a good news/bad news announcement, we were successfully able to get AB 2565 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) amended to remove the mandate that EV Chargers be installed in all parking lots with 50 or more spaces.  However, the bill now takes a policy that was meant to protect residential property owners from a homeowner’s association preventing them from installing charging stations and applies those protections to commercial and residential leasees to trump the property owner.

    Although we are happy to work with the author in to advance his goal of trying to increase installations of EV Charging stations, we think this bill has enough “unintended consequences” that it needs to be amended.

    We continue to think the only efficacious way  to significantly increase installations is to incentivize charging stations by reducing ROI – either through subsidies, matches, grants, and/or tax credits, actual consumer demand (those pesky “market forces”), or as a tenant amenity. Many of these strategies have been used to induce people to purchase plug-in electric cars, and we think they can work to induce infrastructure outside of the primary charging facility (one’s residential parking space).  The other way is for some entrepreneurial companies willing to lease parking spaces and put in chargers as a for-profit venture.  The former would help the latter and we’d embrace both.

    Click here to see the current version of the bill and see how it could impact lease negotiations.

    Apr 28

    BAD LIEN BILL PASSED COMMITTEE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On a strict party line vote with all five Democrats voting in favor, and both Republicans voting against, AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Unproven Wage Liens, passed the Assembly Labor Committee this week.

    AB 2416 creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

    The CalChamber has identified the bill a “Job Killer,” and a large coalition of business groups are marshalling our forces in Sacramento to educate legislators about negative impacts of this measure. We will continue to fight this bill as it moves to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.