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  • Archive for June 26th, 2014

    Jun 26

    MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE STARTS JULY 1

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Just a reminder to all employers that the California state minimum wage change is effective July 1, 2014.  Although most of our members already know this, we thought one last reminder would be appreciated as a Fail-Safe.  The California state minimum wage will increase to $9.00 an hour starting July 1, 2014 and up to $10.00 per hour by January 1, 2016.

    Click here for all the official information.

    Jun 26

    ***ACTION NEEDED*** OPPOSE UNFAIR LIEN BILL

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Two labor-backed bills that could place pull your business into labor disputes that you have nothing to do with, will be heard in the Senate next week.  We vociferously oppose both bills and are asking you to call legislators on the committee to explain why these bills would harm your business and the economy of the state.

    AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Unproven Wage Liens.  This bill 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.

    At the CCRES two weeks ago there was a lot of confusion within the Legislature about what the bill actually does, how it is different from a Mechanic’s Lien, and what the transactional impact is.  Here are some materials that will help answer some of those questions:

    ***ACTION NEEDED*** The bill will be heard on Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Please call any member with which you have a relationship with and/or have property in that district, and let them know how this bill will negatively impact your ability to provide jobs once you are targeted by advocates using this law as a leverage point in negotiations.

    The bill was heard in committee last week but no vote was taken.  It will be heard again next week – potentially twice if we don’t stop it – in the following committees:

    6/24/14 Senate Judiciary Committee

    6/25/14 Senate Labor and Industrial Relations – Special Order of Business.

    Click on the committee names for a list of members.  Please call and or write members.

    Jun 26

    ***ACTION NEEDED*** OPPOSE UNFAIR LIEN BILL

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    AB 1897 (Hernandez; D-West Covina) Labor Contracting; Client Liability.  This bill would force one company to essentially insure the wage and hour obligations, workers’ compensation coverage, and occupational health and safety duties of a separate employer’s employees, which will discourage the use of contractors and their employees.

    The CalChamber has identified both bills as “Job Killers,” and a large coalition of business groups are marshalling our forces in Sacramento to educate legislators about negative impacts of this measure.  This bill will be heard on June 24 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    ***ACTION NEEDED*** The bill will be heard on Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Please call any member with which you have a relationship with and/or have property in that district, and let them know how this bill will negatively impact your ability to provide jobs once you are targeted by advocates using this law as a leverage point in negotiations.

    6/24/14 Senate Judiciary Committee

    For more details about why we oppose this bill click here for the letter that was sent to committee.

    Jun 26

    ***ACTION NEEDED *** SPLIT-ROLL PARCEL TAX BILL

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    SB 1021 (Wolk; D-Davis) Split Roll Parcel Tax.  This bill will also be heard next week and we are requesting your help in opposing it.  The bill would authorize a split roll parcel tax practice that was found illegal last year in what is referred to as the “Borikas” case. Effectively the bill will allow local school districts to discriminates against commercial property owners by allowing a higher parcel tax than what is imposed on residential property.

    SB 1021 passed the Senate a few weeks ago with the bare minimum votes needed 21 to 15 vote.  All republicans and three democrats stood against the measure and we thank and applaud them for that.

    ***ACTION NEEDED*** The bill will be heard on Wednesday in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.  Please call any member with which you have a relationship with and/or have property in that district, and let them know how this bill will negatively impact your ability to provide jobs once your properties are the target of non-uniform parcel taxes

    6/25/14 Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee

    Jun 26

    SPLIT ROLL PARCEL TAX LETTER

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Click here to read our letter opposing SB 1021.  Please use it to contact your local Assemblymembers to explain why this bill would hurt your business.

     

    Jun 26

    SPLIT ROLL PARCEL TAX BACKGROUND; WHY IT IS BAD

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Last year we applauded the California Supreme Court’s decision to decline to review a case in which taxpayers successfully overturned a parcel tax that had been levied at a non-uniform rate, in violation of a state law. The high court’s action means the First District Court of Appeal’s March 6 published decision in George J. Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District will stand.

    When school districts put parcel taxes before voters those taxes should comply with state law requiring equal treatment of business and residential properties.  Some school districts in Alameda, Davis, San Leandro, West Contra Costa, and Los Angeles have been violating that principle by proposing and passing parcel taxes that tax parcels at different rates.

    The issue stems from Proposition 13, the 1978 property-tax cutting initiative, and Proposition 62, a 1986 initiative clarifying that new local government taxes must be voter-approved. To implement the two initiatives, the Legislature passed laws setting rules for new local taxes. Among the requirements, parcel taxes must “apply uniformly to all taxpayers or all real property within the district.”

    According to CalTax, the Court of Appeal ruled that a parcel tax levied by the Alameda Unified School District is illegal because its rates did not apply uniformly to all real property within the district. At issue was a parcel tax, approved by voters in June 2008,  that was imposed on residential parcels at $120 per year, and large commercial and industrial parcels at 15 cents per square foot, with a maximum of $9,500 per year.
    The court said state law does not allow school districts to create property classifications and impose differential parcel tax burdens. However, the court did not strike down the entire tax, noting that the tax measure contained a severability clause. Thus, the school district may impose the tax, as long as it is applied at the $120-per-year rate on all parcels, regardless of size or use.

    The court also ruled that exemptions for seniors and SSI recipients do not exceed the statutory authority provided to school districts by state law, and thus are allowed.

    Last year, AB 59 (Bonta; D-Alameda), which sought to abrogate this decision, before it was even final, was defeated in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. The bill would have retroactively allowed split roll parcel taxes by specifying that the provisions requiring uniform application of taxes shall not be construed as limiting a school district from assessing taxes in accordance with rational classifications among taxpayers or types of property.  The bill died because the case was still being adjudicated.

    Now, after losing the case, some of those same school districts have introduced SB 1021 (Wolk; D-Davis) would overturn the Borikas decision on a prospective basis by allowing approximately 1,043 school districts to impose nonuniform parcel taxes. In other words, the bill would allow school districts to tax select types of property at a higher rate than other types of property. For example, a school district may choose to tax hospitals, office buildings, shopping malls, industrial parks, hotels and motels, ski resorts, shopping malls, office buildings, wineries and breweries, storage facilities, and/or assisted-living facilities at a higher rate than residential parcels.
    We are helping to rally a large coalition to educate legislators about how this scheme would negatively impact their constituents and the state’s economy.

    Jun 26

    WORKSHOP ON LIGHTING EFFICIENCY FOR COMMERCIAL

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    California Energy Commission staff is conducting a workshop to present draft revisions to be considered for inclusion in the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Standards) (California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Parts 1 and 6). These draft revisions apply to residential and non-residential buildings and include measures relating to lighting.

    The provisions have proven to be much more expensive than was reported in the initial adoption.  Many companies in our industry have been shocked to see what it costs to comply with these provisions.  If that applies to your company, and you have some experience to share, please take the time to participate in this workshop.  The CEC can’t fix an issue if it doesn’t have information from practitioners on cost.

    The workshop will be used to solicit public comment on proposed draft revisions to the Standards, and will be held:

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 9:00 a.m.

    CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

    1516 Ninth Street, Hearing Room A

    Sacramento, California

    TO CALL IN:  Parties and the public may attend the Public Workshop in person at the above location or by telephone and/or by computer via our “WebEx” web conferencing system. For additional details on how to participate via WebEx, please click here.

    For more information about this, and other rulemaking click here.

    Jun 26

    TITLE 24 – NON-RESIDENTIAL LIGHTING

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The California Energy Commission newsletter from October has some good, plain English, information about the new Non-Residential lighting Standards. Click here to check out the “What’s new for Non-Res” stuff relating to lighting is on Page 3 & 4.

    For those who want to get “more into the weeds.” Here is a ling to the full standards.  Many of the summary points above reference the specific section of the standards which can be accessed by clicking here.

    This is information you need to know!

    Jun 26

    TITLE 24 – ENERGY CODE COMPLIANCE TOOLS – ARE YOU READY?

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    At its May 14 Business Meeting, the Energy Commission approved Integrated Environmental Solutions’ (IES) Virtual Environment 2013 software. Also referred to as VE 2013 Feature Pack for Title 24, it is the first commercial software to be approved for demonstrating performance compliance with the nonresidential provisions of the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Click here to visit the IES website for more information.

    The Energy Commission also approved an updated version of CBECC-COM at its April 22, 2014 Business Meeting. CBECC-COM v2 improvements include a 2D simplified geometric input method, and for additions and alterations to existing buildings – also known as Existing+Additions+Alterations projects (E+A+A).  CBECC-Com is a public domain software program developed by the Energy Commission to determine compliance with the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.  CBECC-Com uses EnergyPlus v8.0 to perform simulations and Sketchup (v8.0/Pro) with OpenStudio-SketchUp Plugin for geometry input.

    For up-to-date information for downloading and using all Energy Commission-approved standards compliance software, click here.

    For compliance assistance with the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, contact the Energy Standards Hotline toll-free in California at 800-772-3300 and outside California at 916-654-5106, or via email at title24@energy.ca.gov.

    Jun 26

    GOV’S ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP AWARDS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Below is information regard the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards.  The GEELA program recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships, and strengthening the state’s economy. Applications are due Friday, July 11, 2014.

    If you have given similar awards locally, we highly encourage you to move those projects forward for  statewide recognition.  In years past several commercial properties have participated in this program. If you are at a local association, we encourage you to look at member companies that have recently been recognized, as the same nominating materials can easily be adapted to this recognition.  If you have a potential nomination, please strongly consider submitting!

    2014 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA) program are available by clicking here.