Government Finance and Operations 05/17/2013
Local Vote Thresholds
SCA 7 (Wolk) – Support
As Amended on February 26, 2013
SCA 9 (Corbett) – Support
As Introduced on December 14, 2012
SCA 11 (Hancock) – Support
As Introduced on January 25, 2013
These three measures, by Senators Lois Wolk, Ellen Corbett, and Loni Hancock, are among this year’s measures that would reduce the vote threshold for special taxes to 55 percent, from the current two-thirds vote requirement. SCA 11 would do so generally, while SCA 7 would do for libraries and SCA 9 would do so for special taxes to fund community and economic development projects.
As a matter of long-standing policy, CSAC supports these measures and others that would reduce the vote threshold from the current 2/3 supermajority requirement, therefore allowing communities to self-determine the level of revenues they want. We are encouraging the Legislature to consider all of these measures in a broad discussion about what is appropriate to be placed before the voters in 2014. That discussion should consider the needs and desires of local communities, as well as providing counties the flexibility to pursue special taxes in either the entire county or only in the unincorporated areas.
The Senate Governance and Finance Committee passed all three measures at its hearing on Wednesday, May 15. They now move to the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.
SB 1 (Steinberg) – Support
As Amended on May 2, 2013
SB 1, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, would create a structure for continuing economic development activities consistent with the state’s sustainable development goals.
The foundation of our support is allowing counties a clear option whether or not to financially participate in tax increment financing for economic development purposes. We believe an approach that encourages collaboration between counties and cities will best serve Californians. This approach would not only allow counties appropriate control over their own general funds, but necessitates discussions about what kinds of development benefits the community as a whole.
Notably, SB 1 would prohibit a county or city that had a redevelopment area from forming a Sustainable Communities Investment Authority pursuant to the bill until all of the former redevelopment agency’s debts are fully paid.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider SB 1 at its hearing next Monday, May 20.
Sales and Use Taxes
SB 19 (Knight) – Oppose Unless Amended
As Amended on May 14, 2013
SB 19, by Senator Steve Knight, would exempt equipment and materials related to commercial space launch sites from sales and use taxes. SB 19 does not reimburse local agencies for the resulting revenue loss. The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider SB 19 at its hearing next Monday, May 20.
SB 732 (Berryhill) – Oppose Unless Amended
As Amended on May 14, 2013
SB 732, by Senator Tom Berryhill, would subtract the value of a trade-in vehicle from the purchase price of a new vehicle, including a motorcycle, for the purposes of calculating the sales tax. The bill does not except any portion of the sales tax that benefits counties. The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider SB 732 at its hearing next Monday, May 20.