Topic: Business Climate
News
Sept. 10, 2017

And then there’s the Public Records Act, California’s landmark law giving the public, mostly via news media, access to official documents, with some exceptions. Unfortunately, the list of PRA exceptions seems to be growing as legislators, who are not inclined toward openness in the first place, protect their fellow officials and/or do the bidding of powerful interests. The current session has had 79 bills involving the PRA. While most of the proposals amount to innocuous boilerplate, the Legislature is moving those that create more exceptions and blocking those that would expand access.

News
Sept. 8, 2017

The Nixon episode shows, says Mr. Cogan, that entitlements have been the main cause of America’s rising national debt since the early 1970s. Mr. Trump’s pact with the Democrats is part of a pattern: “The debt ceiling has to be raised this year because elected representatives have again failed to take action to control entitlement spending.” . . . Can an entitlement expansion, once granted, ever be taken back? Mr. Cogan refuses to say “never,” but says such rescindments “occur under rather extraordinary circumstances.” He offers a remarkable example: “You might ask, ‘Who achieved the largest reduction in any entitlement in the history of the country?’ Well, surprisingly, it was FDR, a person whom we normally associate with launching the modern era of entitlements.”

News
Sept. 7, 2017

Some mistake the corporate income tax as the entirety of a business’s tax burden. However, businesses pay many types of taxes outside of the corporate income tax, including sales tax, property tax, excise tax, payroll tax, and more. The corporate income tax makes up only 9.5 percent of total business taxes.

Today’s map shows how much state governments collect in corporate income taxes per capita. New Hampshire collects the most at $433 per capita, with Delaware shortly behind at $424 per capita. Delaware also levies a gross receipts tax in addition to the corporate income tax. Alaska’s ranking of fifth highest in the country may surprise people, but it is mainly due to a large number of extractive companies and the relatively small population.

News
Sept. 5, 2017

It should come as no surprise that when the California Legislature recently began the process of divvying up proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions, a cavalcade of local officials, community activists and lobbyists rushed to Sacramento, with hands out.

Billions of dollars burning a hole in the state’s pocket has that effect on people, and the competition is fierce. Appeals from advocates to fund pet projects were spread over two days in late August, in windowless rooms before sometimes distracted officials. The requests are for cash for electric vehicles, to create green spaces, even for machines to cut pollution from cow manure.

Brevity is prized in this legislative equivalent of speed dating, which plays out in front of committees in the Senate and Assembly. There’s scant time to make the case for your cause. Talk too much, and you risk irritating the panelists. Nobody wants the stink eye from the people with the purse strings.

News
Sept. 5, 2017

Merchants on Fillmore Street in San Francisco were hit by more than a dozen "grab and run" thefts in August, leaving employees at the businesses feeling unsafe and owners calling for more police presence in the area. The New Fillmore reports that the thefts have hit businesses on the street including Sandro, Curve, SpaceNK, Intermix, Scotch & Soda, Rebecca Minkoff, Mio and Eileen Fisher.

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