Silicon Valley and Bakersfield Oil Patch Lead CA Jobs Recovery

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

What cities can California look to for jobs growth to pull it out of its laggard growth since the 2008 economic recession? A new online economic tracking tool called Metro Monitor by the Brookings Institution ranks metropolitan areas in the United States by jobs growth before the recession and during the recovery, then calculates the […]

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Market Closing Prop 13 Commercial Property Tax Gap

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Almost 36 years after it was passed by voters, controversy continues to swirl around Proposition 13, the 1978 tax limitation measure. Periodic calls to repeal or modify it, supposedly to gain more tax revenue, so far have gone nowhere. The main objection is that it’s unfair because homeowners — and especially businesses – that have held […]

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Denham’s Ploy Not Shutting Down Government

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Last month, columnist Dan Morain speculated that Rep. Jeff Denham’s, R-Calif., High Speed Rail ploy backfired (“Ploy Backfired on High Speed Rail).” Allegedly, Denham’s “ploy” was to get an unfavorable decision from a federal agency that would force California’s High Speed Rail Project to obtain environmental clearances under the state’s “project killer” environmental law, rather […]

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“Progressives” Advancing California Monopolies

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

California politics was forged from the Progressive Movement’s “purification” of the political machines and bosses to bring about the reform of monopolistic railroad, insurance and banking trusts that dominated the state. The Progressives reached their apogee a century ago with Gov. Hiram Johnson’s reforms of 1911, especially his initiative, recall and referendum reforms. Fast-forward to […]

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Billionaire Texas Democrat Seeks to Reform CA Pensions

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

California’s pension problems are so massive that any help should be welcomed, even from outside the state. Enter Texas billionaire Democrat John Arnold, who announced an effort to reform unsustainable public pensions across the United States, starting in California. According to Reuters, that sparked a response from Lowell Goodman, communications director for the southern California chapter of the […]

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LA Times’ Sale Dodged Taxes Same Way as Dell’s Hotel Deal

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

There is a statewide campaign afoot that wants to eliminate Proposition 13 gradually by first trying to take away its protections for the timing of property tax reassessments of commercial properties. The Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica is being used as a high profile symbol of why Proposition 13 should be revoked for commercial properties.  […]

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Prop 13 Tax Loophole Story is an Urban Myth

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Stuart Lieberman, a real estate attorney in New Jersey, once said the following about wording in a deed that allowed construction on open space designated land: “That’s not a loophole; it’s the Lincoln Tunnel.” Lieberman made what appeared to be a loophole in a deed understandable through a concrete example.  In the same way, the […]

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CalPERS Pushes CA Away from Cheap, Clean Hydropower

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

During the court-ordered “drought” in California from 2007 to 2010, some signs along highways in the Central Valley read: “Food grows where water flows” “Congress created dust bowl” “No water=no barley=no beer” “People are more important than fish”  Possibly by 2020, after possible rolling power blackouts and unexplainable regional power grid failures, the next signs […]

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CA Comeback Mostly about Shifting Funds Around

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times an article, “Lessons from a Comeback.” However, a comeback for state government should not be confused with an economic or jobs recovery. A number of liberal, conservative and moderate writers responded to Krugman that there has been no California comeback. Victor Davis Hanson wrote, “Krugman’s California Dreamin’.” Walter Russell Mead wrote, […]

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Split-Roll Property Tax would Hit Small Business Hard

Wayne Lusvardi
Political Commentator

The attacks on Proposition 13 never seem to end. The 1978 tax-cut initiative’s enemies, such as former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, conjure up a misleading image of large corporate owners of commercial real estate dodging taxes by selling commercial properties through “stock transfers.” They call for a “split roll” that would increase taxes on commercial property, […]

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