High Court Ruling Raises Questions on Passage of Local Special Taxes 

How many voters does it take to pass a local special tax? Since Proposition 13 in 1978, voters have had the final say on local tax increases. A subsequent initiative passed in 1996, Proposition 218, further required most local tax measures to gain approval by two-thirds of voters, whether proposed by a local government agency […]

The Legislature Nose-to-Nose with Ballot Initiatives

The talk of the Capitol last week was of “the Hertzberg bill,” which changed the calendar for certain activities related to ballot measures, with the intent to ease legislative fixes to proposed ballot measures – if proponents were amenable. Though the bill was enacted in 2014, the new process hasn’t been employed until this year, when […]

Breaking Up is Hard to Do – and Should be

Tim Draper believes California is three states struggling within the boundaries of one, and wants to set them free. Voters will have the chance in November to decide if they share his vision that more governments make better governance. Spoiler Alert: Breaking up is hard to do – which is a very good thing. The […]

The Split Roll Property Tax May be on Ice, but Make Way for the Split Roll Sales Tax.

Senator Bob Hertzberg last week unveiled a long-promised “modernization” of the state sales tax, but it’s mostly just an old-fashioned tax shift from shoppers to businesses. The guts of the plan are simple: over a three-year transition period, cut the existing state sales tax rate by two percentage points (from 4.75% to 2.75%) and enact a new […]

Privacy Initiative Won’t Stem Internet Abuses

It’s not surprising that proponents of the so-called “California Consumer Privacy Act” would want to draw attention to the latest controversies around internet privacy. Not surprising – but dishonest. The initiative has nothing to do with the situation in the headlines. The ballot measure would not have prevented it and doesn’t even contemplate the scenario. […]

Federal Tax Reform Means More Business Taxes for California

California’s corporate tax base may increase by up to 12 percent as a result of federal tax reform legislation, according to a study recently released by the State Tax Research Center. This means that revenues from California’s corporate income tax could increase by as much as $1.3 billion – without any action by state lawmakers to increase corporate […]

Seven initiatives to watch that threaten California prosperity

Voters may face as many seven ballot measures damaging to California’s business and political climate in November. Any one of these measures should motivate millions in opposition spending by affected industries. More than a few are likely to qualify for the ballot. Conventional wisdom teaches that gubernatorial elections deliver older and more conservative voters to […]

Achieving Economic Growth and Upward Moblity

2018 is a transition year in California politics and public policy. Voters will elect a new Governor, replace at least seven constitutional officers and seat at least ten new members of the Legislature. Practicing direct democracy, voters will decide in November on as many as 20 ballot measures influencing the political and economic climate. But […]

New partnership for youth employment and opportunity launched

The California Chamber of Commerce and the Linked Learning Alliance have launched a new California network of employer associations committed to advancing youth opportunities and reducing youth unemployment. The lead organizations, CalChamber and Linked Learning Alliance, bring together six local employer organizations for the network: the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Oxnard Chamber of […]

Court of Appeal Upholds Strict Regulatory Review Mandate

State agencies must take seriously the requirement to conduct a timely, accurate economic analysis of major regulations, according to a recently-released opinion by the 5th District Court of Appeal. In a unanimous opinion upholding the trial court, the appellate justices found that the final economic impact analysis used in rulemaking must be based on evidence, as must […]