Government Finance and Operations update 5/30/2014
AB 1717 (Perea) – Support
As Amended on May 28, 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. The most recent amendments assuage sheriff’s concerns about the 911 fund by guaranteeing a certain level of revenue.
The Assembly passed AB 1717 71-2. The bill now moves to the Senate.
AB 2119 (Stone) – Support
As Introduced on February 20, 2014
CSAC supports AB 2119, by Assembly Member Mark Stone, which would allow counties to propose a transaction and use tax increases only in the unincorporated area of the county. The proceeds from the tax, if unincorporated voters approve it, could only be used in the unincorporated area.
Under current law, counties can only impose transactions and use countywide, with permission from all the county’s voters. Many cities levy their own sales taxes for the sole benefit of city residents. Those residents are often understandably reluctant to impose a further tax on themselves. AB 2119 would give residents who live outside of cities the same rights as those who live in them.
The Assembly passed AB 2119 50-22. The bill now moves to the Senate.
Senior Citizen’s Property Tax Postponement Program
AB 2231 (Gordon) – Support
As Amended on April 21, 2014
AB 2231, by Assembly Member Rich Gordon, would restore the Senior Citizens’ 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 Assembly passed AB 2231 77-0. It now moves to the Senate.
AB 1873 (Gonzalez and Mullin) – Support
As Amended on April 22, 2014
AB 1873, by Assembly Members Lorena Gonzalez and Kevin Mullin, would authorize a county to conduct a special vacancy election entirely by mail, providing an opportunity to improve voter participation and save money. It would also allow processing of envelopes and ballots earlier than under current law, and would define ballots received within three days after the election as having been timely received if they either are postmarked or signed and dated on or before Election Day.
Special elections have embarrassingly low voter turnout. The 2013 special elections were particularly poor in turnout, with turnout rates in single digits in some of the later elections.
The Assembly passed AB 1873 44-32. The bill now moves to the Senate.
AB 2028 (Mullin) – Support
As Amended on April 28, 2014
AB 2028, by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, would authorize San Mateo County to conduct a special election entirely by mail, adding it to a pilot program that currently applies only to Yolo County.
The Assembly passed AB 2028 51-23. The bill now moves to the Senate.
SB 1129 (Steinberg) – Oppose
As Amended on April 22, 2014
SB 1129, by Senator Darrell Steinberg, seeks to make changes to three components of the redevelopment dissolution process: enforceable obligations, long range property management plans and compensation agreements, and use of bond proceeds for debt issued in 2011. Because each of these directly affects the allocation of property tax revenues and we know that the allocation of property tax revenues is a zero-sum game, SB 1129 will have fiscal consequences for affected taxing entities, including counties.
The Senate passed SB 1129 27-8. It now moves to the Assembly.
SB 1455 (DeSaulnier) – Pending
As Amended on May 27, 2014
SB 1455, by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, would require the State Librarian to prepare a comprehensive assessment on the statewide need for construction, renovation, and rehabilitation of libraries by the middle of next August.
Before the most recent amendments, SB 1455 was a library bond that CSAC supported.
SB 1455 passed the Senate 31-4. It now moves to the Assembly.