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  • Archive for October 23rd, 2015

    Oct 23

    SPLIT ROLL ADVOCATES PULL PLUG ON 2016 BALLOT EFFORTS

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    Following the stinging rebuke of the idea of dismantling Proposition 13 and implementing a split roll property tax by Governor Jerry Brown and failure of its sponsored bill in the Legislature (SCA 5), leaders of the “Make It Fair” campaign have abandoned efforts to push a ballot measure in 2016.

    Funded by a public unions, community organizing groups, and other far-left organizations, in order to push a $9 Billion tax increase on California properties, California Calls announced that it has decided not to pursue and initiative in the coming year.

    As part of the announcement, California Calls stated they will continue to push a split roll in hopes of dismantling Prop. 13 at a later date.  (We will) continue to expand the coalition, conduct grassroots public education, and build voter support in low-income communities of color throughout the state to score the electoral victory we know is possible.  We will continue to advance Senator Hancock and Mitchell’s SCA-5 reform proposal through the State Legislature, and work to raise the money to withstand fierce industry opposition who will spend $50 to $100 million against us.

    They are correct in on aspect, the idea of gutting Prop. 13 does engender fierce opposition – and not just with industry groups, but homeowners who understand that a split roll is just a step in going after residential protections.

    Californians to Stop Higher Property  Taxes has been a major factor in pushing back against some of the misconceptions and distortions about property taxes that has found its way into the public conversation.  We are primary members of CSHPT  and will continue to be vigilant on this issue.  But for now, we are happy to report that the immediate threat of split roll has been delayed – for now.

    Oct 23

    STRATEGIC ISSUES CONFERENCE

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    Only a few spaces remain for the 2015 Strategic Issues Conference, November 5-6, 2015, at the beautiful Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Lincoln, CA.  Our Board and Legislative Committee Meetings are held in conjunction with this event.

    The conference features discussions with former Governor Pete Wilson, members of the Legislative Democrat “Moderate Caucus,” and California transportation policy leaders.

    Eight major groups have come together to host this special event: California Business Properties Association (CBPA), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the Building Owners and Managers of California (BOMA CAL), the California Alliance for Jobs (CAJ), the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), the California Business Roundtable (CBRT), the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA), and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The goal of the Strategic Issues Conference is to increase public policy and political awareness of state and national issues, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of the California economy.

    Your attendance will contribute greatly to achieving this goal, and will signal your strong support for the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry.

    Click here for more information and to register.

    Our special room rate is now gone, but rooms are still available.  Contact Thunder Valley Casino Resort directly at 1-877-468-8777.

    Oct 23

    LIGHTING CONTROL REGS CONTINUE TO HAMPER PROJECTS

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    A number of members have let us know that the lighting control issues contained in the state’s Energy Regs (Title 24) are having a major impact on costs and complexity of Tenant Improvements.  This issue has been discussed at length at several board meetings, and we have worked with the California Energy Commission over the past year to come up with alternatives to compliance.

    Here is a media story from last year that sheds some light on the topic:

    Businesses Are in the Dark About New Lighting Regulations

    The last update (those you started feeling in January 2015) was the greatest increase in stringency (27%) since the beginning of the California energy code.  The proposed 2016 Standards are following with increase in stringency from significant changes for control requirements.

    Many members have expressed the concern that such large increases in energy code stringency require changes that are not proven construction practices.  We have expressed strong reservations to changes in construction and/or management practice that are not market proven, accepted in the building code, and vetted for their intended use by the building and inspection trades.

    In June CEC staff presented the proposed 2016 Title 24 Code to Commissioners, who approved all chapters except Sections 141.0(b)2.I., J., K., and L., and Tables 141.0-E and –F, which is all the language dealing with lighting system Alterations and Modifications.  However, the language has been “pulled” several times and not adopted.

    We are currently working with CEC staff and other impacted constituency groups to advance these reforms.

    Oct 23

    ADA BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS

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    Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX-2) has introduced HR 3765, “The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015” along with Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and David Jolly (R-FL).  If signed into law, the measure would create disincentives to filing frivolous ADA lawsuits, requiring specificity in the complaint and a 120 day notice and cure period prior to the commencement of a lawsuit.

    This common-sense approach would improve access for the disabled community by actually requiring that a problem be fixed, while protecting the right of a plaintiff to seek legal recourse against a business that refuses to fix a violation.  Over the past five years similar reforms have been passed in California, most recently with a package of bill signed earlier this month by Governor Brown.

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  While this landmark legislation has played a major role in making our society more inclusive for all people, an unintended consequence of the law has enabled the practice of “drive-by” vexatious litigation and we are currently working with a broad range of impacted entities both in California and in the Nation’s Capital to course correct where it makes sense.

    Oct 23

    AB 2 BRINGS BACK SOME “REDEVELOPMENT” TOOLS

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    Our friends Seth Merewitz and Sigrid K. Asmundson, from Best Best & Krieger, have taken a look at AB 2 (Alejo D) and provide the following regarding this important change in law:

    “The next chapter in California’s long history with community redevelopment has just been written. Whether this chapter will be a comedy or tragedy remains to be seen. What is clear is that the significant authority of redevelopment agencies (property tax increment and eminent domain) are now again available to local government agencies in California. However, where this authority can be utilized is more focused on disadvantaged communities that have low income, high unemployment and high crime. The utility of this new legislation will be seen over the next several months and years. “

    Click here to read the full article, “AB 2 Appears to be the Long-Awaited Redevelopment Replacement Law”