Government Finance and Operations update 4/18/2014
AB 2109 (Daly) – Concerns
As Amended on March 24, 2014
AB 2109, by Assembly Member Tom Daly, would require the Board of Equalization to annually report information related to locally-assessed parcel taxes, including the type and rate of tax, the number of parcels subject to and exempt from tax, the sunset date of the tax, and the revenue generated from the tax. This information would be provided to the Board of Equalization by the county auditor.
CSAC has communicated its fiscal concerns about AB 2109 to the author, who has committed to working with us to minimize costs.
The Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee will consider AB 2109 next Monday, April 21. The Assembly Local Government Committee previously passed AB 2109 on April 2.
AB 1717 (Perea) – Support in Concept
As Amended on April 2, 2014
AB 1717, by Assembly Member Henry Perea, would implement a retail-level system for collecting state and local charges on prepaid wireless services. For counties, this bill affects utility user taxes.
Currently, utility user taxes, as well as a host of state charges such as 9-1-1 fees, are not collected from consumers of prepaid wireless customers. Some of the state charges are being paid by wireless carriers themselves. AB 1717 would implement a system for retailers to collect these charges and remit them to the Board of Equalization.
The Legislature passed a very similar version of this bill last year, but the Governor vetoed it despite expressing support for its purposes and for establishing a mechanism to collect the local charges.
The Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee will consider AB 1717 at its meeting next Monday, April 21.
SB 1214 (Anderson) – Support
As Amended on April 10, 2014
SB 1214, by Assembly Member Joel Anderson, would reestablish at the state level the property tax postponement program.
The Senior Citizen’s Property Tax Postponement Program offered income-eligible seniors and people with disabilities the opportunity to postpone their property tax payments in exchange for full repayment with interest when their home is sold. The program had a minimal start-up cost and, in most years, generated revenue for the state General Fund. Unfortunately, in large part due to the recent recession and housing crisis, the program failed to pay for itself in 2007-08 and 2008-09, making it a target for elimination given the state’s budget crisis at the time.
SB 1214 is one of two bills that would revive the program. The other, AB 2231 by Assembly Member Rich Gordon, passed the Assembly Local Government Committee on April 9.
The Senate Governance and Finance Committee will consider SB 1214 at its hearing next Thursday, April 24.
SB 1062 (Block) – Support If Amended
As Amended on March 24, 2014
SB 1062, by Senator Marty Block, would require counties to prepay postage for all vote-by-mail ballots. As currently written, it would impose a mandate on counties on the order of $5 million to $7.5 million for a single general election.
CSAC supports efforts to increase voter participation, but we believe it is inappropriate for the state to decide how counties should spend their money. If the state wants every voter to be able to return the mail ballot without a stamp, they should require the Secretary of State’s office to use their Business Reply Mail account for this purpose, thus requiring no reimbursement.
The Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee will consider SB 1062 at its hearing next Tuesday, April 22.