Split Roll Property Tax Won’t Yield Expected Revenues; May Cause Havoc

Because activists, academics and government analysts don’t seem to understand how income property markets work, California’s proposed split-roll property tax is not likely to generate expected revenues. Most policy makers think that higher tax rates result in greater tax revenues.  But income producing property markets work inversely to taxes by lowering property values when taxes are […]

Oil Tech From Russia to End Fracking Debate?

On Jan. 1 California’s fracking law drilled in – just as the price of oil has dropped to its lowest levels of recent years. And just as something new from Russia, Plasma Pulse Technology, may make fracking superfluous. Senate Bill 4 was sponsored by state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Los Angeles. After the bill was modified […]

Water Issue Re-elects GOP Sen. Vidak in Dem District

You knew Democrats were in the deep end of the pool over water issues in California back on May 14. That’s when they asked Republican state Sen. Andy Vidak of Hanford to read out loud Joint Resolution 25 in the state Senate. It urged President Obama to find solutions to California’s drought crisis. It is rare in politics for […]

In Fighting Drought, San Antonio Leaves L.A. in the Dust

Could cities such as drought-vulnerable Los Angeles come to regret that a “privatization” provision in the old $11.1 billion state water bond was removed? Back in 2009, there was an outcry against language in the original version of a proposed state water bond that would have allowed private companies to own, operate and profit from […]

GOP Wants Tunnels Back in Water Bond

Will Gov. Jerry Brown’s Twin Tunnels project for the California Delta still make it into the $11 billion water bond projected for the November election? It’s still possible. The bond has been postponed twice already because legislators didn’t think it would pass muster with voters in 2010 and 2012. But the ongoing state drought gives it more […]

Support for Boosting School Taxes Drops

Proposition 13 still garners broad support across California 36 years after the tax-limitation measure was passed. According to the latest opinion poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California,  support for loosening Prop. 13′s two-thirds vote requirement for approving local parcel taxes for schools has dropped from 46 percent in April 2011 to 39 percent in April 2014. […]

Silicon Valley and Bakersfield Oil Patch Lead CA Jobs Recovery

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 […]

Market Closing Prop 13 Commercial Property Tax Gap

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 […]

Denham’s Ploy Not Shutting Down Government

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 […]

“Progressives” Advancing California Monopolies

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 […]