Legislative Update

In this report … LAUSD Sq. Ft Parcel Tax Ballot Measure DEFEATED, SCAQUMD Pushes New Rules, LA County Approves Private Arts Fee/Tax. Contact Legislative Affairs Director Vickie Talley for help with your government affairs issues.

LAUSD Square Foot Parcel Tax Ballot Measure Overwhelmingly DEFEATED

Measure EE was the June 4 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) ballot initiative that would have added on to your tax burden a 16 cent per square foot parcel tax, based on the square footage of the building improvements on your property.  Not only did the proponents not get the required 2/3rds majority vote, they did not even get a majority of the voters to say yes.  The vote was:  Yes – 45.68%,  No – 54.32%

The incredible nature of this victory is hard to convey.  Mayor Eric Garcetti strongly supported EE and put a lot of his political machine behind it, and even made personal calls, along with the teachers’ union and SEIU and others.  But, this time, the business community came together and stayed together under all the tremendous pressure. 

The bottom-line lesson from the EE campaign is to prove that business, when it sticks together, should not be afraid to take on the so-called power elite.  When business comes together and steps out we can achieve critical victories to move our communities and the economy forward to benefit all.

South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Pushes New Rules

First, the SCAQMD has for many years now been trying to make warehouses/distribution centers responsible for decreasing diesel truck emissions through what are called Indirect Source Rules (ISRs).  NAIOP SoCal has made it clear such facilities have no control over trucks nor any legal authority to decrease their emissions.  Yet, the SCAQMD keeps trying.  Now they are going to toss out the idea of some sort of credit program for warehouses if they do certain, to date, unidentified actions.   We do not see that any of these efforts will lead to emissions reductions and have the possibility of being very expensive.  We will continue to work with our coalition partners on this serious issue.

The SCAQMD is also trying to get more involved in the land use process through what are called AB 617 Community Emissions Reduction Plans.(CERPs)  The SCAQMD admits it has no land use authority, but is trying to get around that clear state law by saying they plan to work with cities and counties to change their general plans and zoning codes to add ideas the SCAQMD thinks may lead to reduced emissions.  This is being followed closely as well.

Los Angeles County Approves Private Arts Fee/Tax

Los Angeles County has approved a 1% fee/tax on the building valuation of new commercial/industrial construction to fund placing art around the county and providing art venues, among other art programs.  NAIOP SoCal worked with a broad coalition of real estate groups on this issue.  It became very clear the LA Board of Supervisors would pass this fee/tax no matter what the costs were to businesses.  We were able to get the draft ordinance to exempt projects valued at $750,000 or less, instead of the originally proposed $500,000 threshold.  Additionally, the threshold amount will increase each year by the CPI.  We were also able to get the requirement that the developer would be mandated to hire an arts consultant removed.