CSAC Bulletin Article

Finance and Operations Policy Recap

December 8, 2016

The CSAC Government Finance and Administration Policy Committee, which includes the Finance and Operations Policy Unit, met on December 1 at the 122nd CSAC Annual meeting with Supervisor Hannigan, Solano County, presiding as Chair. The Government Finance and Administration meeting agenda is available online.

Finance and Operations bills to be sponsored. The Committee acted to approve two proposed bills that will help counties with more cost-effective and efficient information sharing. The first proposal provides clarification to ensure implementation of a recently-passed law requiring local agencies to notify property owners of any new parcel tax or rate, following voter approval. This will reduce administrative confusion and help counties implement the parcel tax notification rules with greater uniformity. The second proposal seeks to reduce the cost of printing sample ballots when a local transportation tax measure is proposed by allowing counties to use online posting. This will ease the elections cost pressures facing counties, for which they receive no state funding.

Positive state budget projections. Carolyn Chu of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) provided an update on California’s fiscal outlook (LAO presentation materials available online). The LAO is projecting that economic expansion will continue into 2017-2018, resulting in revenue growth for the state and a healthy budget reserve account. Ms. Chu noted some uncertainty in the LAO’s outlook, but added reassurance that in the off-chance of a recession scenario, budget reserves would be able to cover operating deficits.

Key 2016 Legislative Session outcomes reviewed. CSAC staff discussed key bills and budget outcomes from the 2016 legislative session. Highlights of new laws impacting counties included:

· AB 587 (Chau) Mobilehome Property Tax Amnesty Program

· AB 1666 (Brough) Mello Roos Online Reports

· AB 2476 (Daly) – Parcel Tax Notification Requirements

· AB 2686 (Mullin) – Vote by Mail Ballots for Special Elections

· AB 2801 (Gallagher) – Written Protest Materials Retention

· SB 1029 (Hertzberg) – Debt Issuance Reporting

2017 Priorities Previewed. CSAC staff provided a preview of the upcoming 2017 legislative session, which will come into full swing in less than a month. The following priorities were discussed:

· Protecting County Governance Authority.

· Mandates Reimbursement Reform and Debt Repayment.

· Local Tax Authority Protection.

· Elections Administration Investment and One-Time Funding.

· On-Schedule Redevelopment Agency Dissolution.

· Broadband Access and Adoption.

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