The July Report
July 12, 2018
LA County Stormwater Parcel Tax Proposal – Update
The LA County Board of Supervisors was supposed to have already voted on whether to put a 2.5 cent per square foot of impermeable space parcel tax on the November, 2018 ballot. Yet, they postponed the vote until next Tuesday, July 17. To date, the two major business organizations, LA Area Chamber of Commerce and the LA Business Federation (BizFed), have come out opposed to the parcel tax plan as written. As a result, an Op-Ed opposing the parcel tax was published last Sunday in the four Southern California News Group (SCNG) papers in Los Angeles describing the parcel tax plan as a “pig in a poke.” This led SCNG to do their own editorial opposing the parcel tax. The California Taxpayers Association is opposing the proposed parcel tax as well. There has been a lot of other activity as well.
While we have been telling the County for months and months there are many concerns that surround the parcel tax proposal, the county really made no substantive changes. In light of the above efforts, the County this week provided some compromise proposals. These are being evaluated. The County has also indicated they will be releasing revised drafts of the plan either July 11 or 12, which will need to be evaluated. There clearly is a very strong push to get the business organizations to change their position on the tax, which is having an impact. This week both the Chamber and BizFed Boards will be discussing their positions, which is very frustrating. This is all moving moment by moment and your Legislative Affairs team will provide additional information during the NAIOP SoCal Board meeting.
AB 617 – New CARB and SCAQMD Community Based Air Quality Plans
Assembly Bill (AB) 617 adds an entirely new air quality plan focused solely on a localized, community-based emissions reduction plan. Essentially, these Community Emission Reduction Plans (CERPs) will be mini-versions of the regional Air Quality Management Plans (AQMPs) required by state and federal air quality laws. So now even though we have the regional plans to meet the air quality standards, even if we meet those regional plans, that may no longer be enough.
CARB recently released the so-called “Draft Community Air Protection Blueprint” that is to be the foundation for the new CERPs. We are still going through in detail the Blueprint report. Yet, there are two very problematic areas that we have already discovered.
- The Blueprint specifically says that in creating the local CERPs there must be “consideration of indirect source rules”. In our region, this means there will probably be a strong push to have a bunch of local ISRs, even if the regional ones the SCAQMD is currently looking at are not implemented. Furthermore, this could be very problematic with some rules applying in some areas and not others.
- The Blueprint is very clear that CARB and the local air districts are to get very engaged in the land use process. CARB states “AB 617 will help community members work with local agencies that have land use authority to address the impacts of past land use decisions and to avoid bad land use decisions in the future.” (emphasis added) CARB goes on to say they want to identify “the steps necessary to avoid decisions that have the potential to create new burdened communities (e.g., new or expanded warehouses that place warehouses next to homes and result in large volumes of truck traffic through communities).” (emphasis added) CARB also indicates the CERPs “must” consider:
“Processes to terminate existing incompatible land uses within selected communities.”
As required by AB 617, the SCAQMD has chosen four communities to have CERPs developed by the end of 2019. Three are in Los Angeles County that combined cover from, in general, the ports to north of downtown Los Angeles, and west of I-110 to east of I-710. The fourth covers west of the City of San Bernardino and the railyards. This will be an ongoing program and new communities will be chosen each year. There will be Community Steering Committees and it will be vital to be actively engaged, especially this first year, as the SCAQMD has said the first CERPs will be models for the future CERPs. This entirely new program could have very far reaching impacts.
US Supreme Court Union Dues Decision
On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down their decision in the case of Janus versus AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), which dealt with whether public employee unions could withhold union dues from paychecks. The Court held “States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees.” The only way such fees can be withheld is if “the employee affirmatively consents to pay.” The Court’s decision will have an impact on the amount of money available to the unions, but it is unclear how much of an impact. The unions have been expecting and preparing for this decision for some time, and many recent statutes have been passed by the California Legislature to try to lessen the impact of the decision. The actual impact will all depend upon how many union members decide not to pay the dues, and the unions are going all out to convince people to keep paying. So, it may be some time before there is any indication as to how much the Supreme Court decision impacts the influence of the unions.
Reminder to Provide Input on Upcoming November Elections
At the last Board meeting, a survey on upcoming elections was distributed. If you have not had a chance to complete the survey, your NAIOIP SoCal Political Action Committee would appreciate your input. You may access the survey on the NAIOP SC website (www.naiopsocal.org) in the red box in the upper righthand corner of the home page. Or, you may also send an email with your recommendations to Director of Legislative Affairs Vickie Talley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input is important very much appreciated!