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  • Archive for March 4th, 2016

    Mar 4


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    Yesterday a California appellate court struck down a law that let the state withhold tax funds from cities refusing to send the state money left over from closing down Redevelopment Agencies.  This is breaking news and we are trying to get more information, but for now the SacBee has a very good summary of the case and the issues.  Click here to read more.

    Mar 4


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    Note:  we are re-running this story to make sure you saw it.

    In a surprising move, the proponents of a measure to add a multi-billion dollar property tax on the 2016 ballot for social programs, have stopped collecting signatures and shut down the effort, vowing, however, that they will try again “another year.”  Proponents said the tax would raise almost $8 billion, with a majority coming from commercial properties.

    At last report, the “Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act,” had collected a quarter of the signatures needed to make the ballot and was successfully raising money from Hollywood activists.

    The reason given, by former BOE member Conway Collis:  “The 2016 ballot has become too crowded with too many revenue raising measures on it.” “Consequently it makes more sense to qualify early for a later ballot.”

    Political insiders believe, however, the abandonment of the proposition was due to a combination of factors, including the fact that the business community in the state was taking the threat seriously and vowing to push back on the measure.  Combined with the fact that the electorate still shows strong support for Proposition 13, the success of the measure was not assured and a long expensive battle loomed.  Finally, it is assumed that other powerful groups pushing for tax increases – such as extension of income taxes and more tobacco taxes – on the ballot pressured the proponents to move out of the way.

    This is the second property tax initiative that was planned for the 2016 ballot that has been dropped.  The first was a split roll property tax that was walked away from shortly after Governor Brown expressed concern about it.

    CBPA has strongly been arguing that such a tax increase would hurt the economy by raising rents, evaporating jobs, and have a negative impact on small businesses.

    Although there are many factors to the political calculus that goes into these decisions, the fact that the commercial real estate industry has had an ongoing education effort through the Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes should not be underestimated.  Click here to read more.

    Mar 4


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    Our industry has taken an early position sending a letter of support for Senator Hertzberg’s (D-Los Angeles) SB 820 which will permanently extend the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act, an important tool that allows cities and the private sector to work together to clean up Brownfields and get them back into productive use.

    The program mirrors federal legislation that was passed to protect parties that want to invest in brownfields sites that they are not responsible for contaminating; thereby, encouraging investment in what are often-times disadvantaged communities and neighborhoods.

    CLRRA give local governments the ability and alternative means of cleaning up properties when the responsible party is will not or cannot so it can be used for a productive benefit.  Under the program state regulators (DTSC) or local water boards to designate what level of clean up the new buyer has to do in order to put the property back into use, and there is ongoing monitoring and accountability to protect the public’s health.

    CLRRA advances infill development and greenhouse gas reduction by reducing VMT because often times these contaminated sites are in urban centers and the program allows jurisdictions to work with new businesses to investment in clean up and remediation.

    SB 820 is also supported by CBPA our partners at the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).

    Mar 4


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    In a “town hall” style meeting yesterday, State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon discussed his ideas on how to address homeless issues in the State.  For several years the Legislature and local government have sought to find new revenue sources to fund more social programs and affordable housing initiatives.  The main idea is to fund a $2 billion dollar bond that will go directly to mental health and housing needs that will be paid for through an existing tax – Proposition 63 (passed in 2004) which imposes a 1 percent tax on incomes above $1M.  de Leon states that he is in negotiations with the Governor to try to make the funding happen without the need for a Legislative bill.  Click here for more information.

    Mar 4


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    The California Business Properties Association (CBPA) has endorsed the Kindergarten Through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016. The measure, a $9 billion state school facilities bond to adequately fund school construction and modernization projects throughout the state, will appear on the November 2016 ballot.

    “Passing a state school facilities bond in November is going accomplish important goals: provide an infusion of funds to move projects forward; create good paying jobs; and give students access to great schools.  This investment will strengthen California.” said Rex Hime, President and CEO.

    The last statewide school facilities bond was passed by California voters in 2006. The state’s fund to provide matching dollars to school districts that have already raised local funds for school construction projects has been effectively depleted, leaving a muti-billion dollar backlog of K-14 project applications in limbo. With estimates placing K-14 school construction funding needs for the next decade at more than $20 billion, the school facilities bond will be a significant step forward to address the state’s school construction needs.
    Passing the school bond in November will also help protect one of California’s most successful investment partnerships between the state, local school districts and private business. This successful partnership has been in place since 1998, providing safe and modern schools to millions of children and good paying jobs to regions across the state. According the Center for Strategic Economic Research, every $1.2 billion in annual new construction and modernization investment will create or support more than 15,000 jobs, and result in $2.5 billion in overall economic output benefits for California’s economy.

    “Continuing the investment partnership between the state, school districts, and the business community will help provide students with modern, safe school facilities equipped for their success,” concluded Hime

    Passing the school bond in November is important to our state’s continued economic success. To find out more click here.

    Mar 4


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    California’s building efficiency standards have been updated, with changes that will become mandatory in January 2017. This seminar will cover what’s new in Title 24 for both residential and non-residential buildings, from high performance walls and attics to lighting and lighting controls.

    The session will also review challenges that have resulted in implementing the 2103 standards, strategies for addressing them, and solutions to these challenges that may be included in the recent revisions.

    With each cycle, California’s Energy Code is moving closer toward the goal of ZNE for all new construction. It’s vital for you to stay up to date with its evolution.

    Click here for more information and to register.