09/20/2021

News

San Francisco — where drug addicts outnumber high school students

San Francisco has more drug addicts than it has students enrolled in its public high schools, the city Health Department’s latest estimates conclude. There are about 24,500 injection drug users in San Francisco — that’s about 8,500 more people than the nearly 16,000 students enrolled in San Francisco Unified School District’s 15 high schools and […]

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State and Local Sales Tax Rates, 2019

The five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates are Tennessee (9.47 percent), Louisiana (9.45 percent), Arkansas (9.43 percent), Washington (9.17 percent), and Alabama (9.14 percent). The five states with the lowest average combined rates are Alaska (1.43 percent), Hawaii (4.41 percent), Wyoming (5.36 percent), Wisconsin (5.44 percent), and Maine […]

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Bureaucracy vs. Democracy

The daily detonations from the White House are diverting our attention from deeper flaws in modern American government. Donald Trump was elected for a reason: many Americans are fed up with Washington. They see Washington as a kind of alien power, dictating policies and behavior without regard to the feelings or needs of real people. […]

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Cost and Taxes in the Green Economy

The 12th annual Verdexchange Conference kicked off in Los Angeles this week with a discussion on how the recent election results will boost environmental politics and the green economy in California. But in the tradition of the old Rodney Dangerfield joke that, “I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke […]

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The debt is still out of control

At the start of every year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) publishes “The Budget and Economic Outlook,” a tome full of statistics, tables and charts.. . . What we have is an inherently unstable situation, though we do not know — and probably cannot know — how or when the possible dangers will materialize. The […]

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When Politicians Direct Capital

PG&E rates are already among the highest in the country and have increased by 40% over the last decade compared to 15% nationwide. But the reality is that rates would be far higher if PG&E had spent more on insulating equipment, clearing overgrown vegetation and taking other precautionary measures to reduce wildfire hazards. The PUC […]

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Vacancy glut in SF could spur tax on empty storefronts

Under Peskin’s proposal, owners of commercial properties in Neighborhood Commercial Districts — areas where stores and services are clustered — that are vacant for more than six months would face a fine of at least $250 per day. And while storefronts are the visible face of the long-term vacancy problem, Peskin wants to target residential […]

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California city approves 25-cent fee on disposable cups

Patrons of restaurants and coffee shops in Berkeley, California, who don’t bring a reusable cup for their beverage will have to pay a 25-cent fee for a disposable cup as part of an ordinance approved by city officials to reduce restaurant waste. Berkeley’s City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the fee on single-use cups […]

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Why SDG&E wants to get out of the business of buying electricity

With California’s grid going through dramatic changes, San Diego Gas & Electric has approached the Legislature in Sacramento with a proposal that, at least at first blush, sounds pretty radical — it wants to get out of the business of buying and selling electricity. Instead, the company is calling on the state to create a […]

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Dan Walters: State tax reforms or state tax increases?

There is a substantial list of governance issues that former Gov. Jerry Brown said were important, but that he left on his desk for successor Gavin Newsom. For instance, although he and the Legislature enacted a very modest reform of public employee pensions, he repeatedly said it was only a first step and more was […]

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About that giant, surplus-plus budget surplus

What would you do with a $21.4 billion windfall? That’s essentially the question California is confronting amid record surplus projections in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first year in office. On one hand, the former San Francisco mayor showcased his progressive agenda by setting ambitious goals for universal preschool, expanding health coverage for undocumented immigrants, and proposing […]

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Southern California builders are cutting prices to move glut of unsold homes

Faced with the largest inventory of unsold finished homes in six years, Southern California’s homebuilders have resorted to price cutting. According to real estate watcher Zillow, 25.9 percent of new homes on the market in Los Angeles and Orange counties in the fourth quarter had price cuts — No. 17 of 34 major markets studied […]

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California sees its first home sales drop in four years

California’s housing market ended 2018 on a down note, with sales for 2018 as a whole down for the first time in four years and home price gains showing signs of leveling off, Realtor economists reported Thursday, Jan. 17. A volatile stock market and political and economic uncertainty contributed to the market slowdown, according to […]

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Gavin Newsom’s first budget: Down payments made, but supporters still want more

More state-funded health care for undocumented immigrants. Nearly $2 billion for early childhood programs. Millions of dollars to spur housing construction. In his first week as California governor, Gavin Newsom promised something for nearly every key interest group that backed his campaign. He outlined new spending and policies on a wide array of issues in […]

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Gov. Gavin Newsom Says California Is Continuing The Discussion On Rent Control

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says conversations are underway on rent stabilization, after voters rejected a rent control ballot measure last fall. Newsom spoke Tuesday in San Jose at a roundtable discussion on California’s housing crisis, saying the state is speaking with housing industry groups about possible next steps following the defeat of Proposition 10 in […]

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