The April Report
April 5, 2018
ALERT! Defeat Split Roll Effort – Tell Everyone Not to Sign Petition
The proponents of a split roll tax are on the street collecting signatures to place a constitutional amendment implementing split roll on the November, 2018 ballot. The proponents are calling the initiative “The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2018”. The description that will appear in all capital letters in bold print on the ballot will read in part:
REQUIRES CERTAIN COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL REAL PROPERTY TO BE TAXED BASED ON FAIR MARKET VALUE. DEDICATES PORTION OF ANY INCREASED REVENUE TO EDUCATION AND LOCAL SERVICES.
The ballot pamphlet will go on to say “…$6 billion to $10 billion would be allocated to schools (40%) and other local governments (60%).” Yes, this is also in bold print. The signature gatherers are paid based on the number of signatures they can get, so they will be merely asking people if they want to get more money to fund schools and local services like police and won’t mention the true devastating impact of the measure. It sounds very “mom and apple pie”, so who wouldn’t sign the petition? No one should sign it. This measure would require ALL commercial properties to be taxed at 2020 market values, and then be reappraised every three (3) years. Anyone can do the math and see how punitive this would be to commercial real estate and the economy. This effort is a direct attack on our industry and MUST be stopped. So, it is very important to tell all of your colleagues, friends, relatives, neighbors, anyone you know, not to sign the petition. We must get the word out that no one should sign this petition. An ALERT has been posted at www.naiopsocal.org where the complete title and text of the measure can be downloaded.
NAIOP SoCal Political Action Committee Gearing Up for 2018 Elections
Board Member Stephane Wandel is the Chair of the NAIOP SoCal PAC and may want to provide a more detailed update for the Board. In June the PAC’s primary focus is on State legislative races in the Senate and Assembly. In November, there will be 34 Los Angeles County cities and 34 Orange County cities that will elect council members as well as supervisors. The PAC is a member of the Los Angeles BizFed PAC and the Orange County Jobs PAC. Both groups focus on electing pro-business candidates and are active in supporting or opposing ballot measures that impact business and commercial real estate. The NAIOP SoCal PAC will be reaching out to members of the Board and Legislative Affairs Committee as well as the membership at large to receive input on prioritizing which jurisdictions the PAC should be involved in this election cycle. With that said, if the Split Roll Measure is on the ballot, the PAC’s primary focus will be to defeat the devastating measure.
ACTION: Now is the time to set aside funds to budget a significant contribution to defeat Split Roll. It will take millions and millions of dollars to defeat the measure statewide.
Comments Submitted on Proposed CEQA Guidelines Revisions
The California Office of Planning and Research (OPR) completed its process and sent the draft CEQA Guideline revisions to the Natural Resources Agency for approval. The formal comment period regarding the guidelines ended March 15. A very lengthy comment letter was submitted in light of the numerous technical changes that were proposed.
Should anyone wish to obtain a copy of the comment letter, please contact Peter Herzog at 949-380-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Tustin Art in Public Places and Inclusionary Zoning Proposals
In March the Tustin City Council implemented what they called a Preferred Public Art Policy. The policy is an example of one we can support because all the art will be on city owned land, the city is responsible for maintaining the art and funding the art. This will be a great example to share with the City of Anaheim Council Member Moreno who has put together an Art Committee to evaluate how to bring more public art to the city. Tustin also considered an inclusionary zoning ordinance proposal that went to the Planning Commission in March. So far, this is for residential development only, but we are monitoring.
LA County Stormwater Parcel Tax Proposal – Input is Needed
Finally, the County has given us some information on the type of parcel tax they may want to put on the ballot. We still don’t have any plan on what it would be spent on even after all these months of telling them it must be spent on complying with the state stormwater permits, the MS4 permits. While we have made it known for many years we might consider a flat parcel tax, the County came up with two other options:
- 5 to 4.6 cents per square foot of impermeable space (their favored one), or
- 81 cents to $1.25 per square foot of lot size.
We have advised the County that a flat rate parcel tax is the easiest type of parcel tax to administer and it provides the voter with a clear statement of how much they will actually pay. The County calls this a “regressive tax” and does not appear to be willing to consider it. We have also indicated there is stormwater runoff from permeable land, and it is only fair and appropriate that all land contributing to the stormwater issue, and covered by the MS4 permits, be part of any tax to address the issue. While the County is saying there is some high-tech way of measuring the impermeable space on every single approximate 2.2 million parcels, it is anticipated that there will be an untold number of appeals about the amount of impermeable land on the parcels, which would have to be recalculated when modifications are made to the parcel that change the amount of impermeable space. While the per square foot of the parcel concept has some concerns, it would be far easier to determine as the lot size is already clearly determined. We do expect the County to put some type of stormwater parcel tax on the November, 2018 ballot, so the input of the NAIOP SoCal Board as to whether any of the parcel tax proposals are acceptable, and any other comments, would be most helpful.
ACTION: Discuss preferred approach to proposed Parcel Tax and provide direction to staff.
SCAQMD and CARB Updates
Although the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) was to vote in March on whether to direct staff to proceed to prepare Indirect Source Rules (ISRs), they continued the matter over to April 6 after all the public testimony was completed. Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley was not present at the March Board meeting and this is what led to the continuance. Extensive testimony opposing ISRs was provided by the business community at the Board meeting. Additionally, the broad range of speakers from various sectors of the business community made a strong statement that the Board should not consider ISRs. We will be prepared for the April 6 hearing, yet, we feel all the efforts undertaken leading up to the recent hearing were very effective and the testimony could not have gone better. There will be no further public testimony at the April 6 hearing, only Board consideration of the issue. The CARB Board met on March 22 and staff did NOT recommend ISRs to their Board, and the Board members did NOT direct staff to create any ISRs. They said they would leave ISRs up to the local air districts, like the SCAQMD. Yet, CARB is still proposing to do a Warehouse Handbook that will supposedly set out “best practices for the siting, design, construction and operation” of warehouses. The development of the Handbook is to be completed in mid to late 2019. Freight handbooks on the remainder of the freight system will be done thereafter. The CARB Board members appeared to be very interested in developing these freight handbooks, so this will be a key focus of the CARB staff. We will be deeply involved in the development of these handbooks. At the CARB Board hearing there was a lot of public testimony alleging cities have been doing a poor job of land use planning and inappropriately allowing warehouses to be built. The push seemed to be a desire to have the air quality agencies get involved in land use decisions.