09/24/2021

News

This November, Will California Voters Approve $3.6 Billion Per Year in New Taxes?

If you add up all the voter approved new taxes in November 2016, state and local, you have to include not only $5.0 billion in new local taxes and payments on local bonds per year, you also have to add the voter approved statewide measures. That would include Prop. 51, adding yet another $9.0 billion […]

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Dan Walters: Locals seek new levies despite $4B property tax surge

Cities have been hit the hardest by increases in mandatory payments to the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) as it tries to shrink its large “unfunded liability.” City officials have repeatedly complained about the specter of insolvency if pension payments continue to grow and the League of California Cities has labeled the situation “unsustainable.” […]

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COMMENTARY: With Local Government Collecting Record Revenue, Why Are Voters Facing Hundreds of Tax Measures in November?

With increased tax revenue and economic growth, why are local governments asking voters to approve more taxes? A report by the League of California Cities notes that city pension costs will increase more than 50 percent by the fiscal year 2024-25, and will reach “unsustainable levels.” The report states: “Often, revenue growth from the improved […]

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California’s tax revenues beat expectations by $1 billion over the summer months

Californians paid some $1 billion in taxes above official projections during the first three months of the state’s fiscal year, in what could be a major boost to the government’s bottom line once Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office in January. A monthly report issued Tuesday by the state Department of Finance attributed most of the […]

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Sacramento, your summer electricity bill is about to jump. Here’s what to do about it

SMUD officials say the new system is revenue neutral, meaning that ratepayers overall should end up paying the same annually as they do under the current system because of lower winter rates. But, as the chart below shows, many ratepayers will be hit with price shock during summer months, including a price spike in July […]

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Why are SDG&E’s rates higher than other California utilities?

A year-over-year review by the Union-Tribune of electricity rate charges by the three investor-owned utilities shows SDG&E’s rates are not only higher than their cohorts but they have also been rising faster. Residential baseline rates during the summer months from June 1 through Oct. 1 have gone up 80.7 percent since January 2014. . . […]

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FISCAL POLICY REPORT CARD ON AMERICA’S GOVERNORS 2018

The U.S. economy is in its 10th year of economic expansion, and state government budgets are benefiting from a solid growth in tax revenues. State general fund revenues have grown 40 percent since 2010. Many of the nation’s governors have used the growing revenues to expand spending programs, whereas others have pursued reductions in taxes. […]

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How Carbon Trading Became a Way of Life for California’s Yurok Tribe

The Yurok’s carbon-offset project, among the first of its kind in the United States, has become the tribe’s main source of discretionary income. It has helped the tribe buy back, to date, nearly sixty thousand acres—up from five thousand. “This has been a way for us to revive the economy in a way that aligned […]

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Why Gasoline is Going Higher in California

It has become raison d’etre to blame President Trump for everything wrong with California; including higher gasoline prices plaguing our state and contributing to a slowing statewide GDP. But in today’s world that is connected via air, land, sea and increasingly cyberspace; globalization and policies knit countries and states together like never before. Many times […]

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US states agree on plan to manage overtaxed Colorado River

Seven Southwestern U.S. states that depend on the overtaxed Colorado River have reached landmark agreements on how to manage the waterway amid an unprecedented drought, including a commitment by California to bear part of the burden before it is legally required to do so, officials said Tuesday. The agreements are tentative and must be approved […]

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Public Servant Who Made $327,491 in 2017 Asks Us to Support Higher Taxes

Every two years, around this time, political mailers inundate the mailboxes of California’s registered voters. This week, many Sacramento residents received “Vote No on Prop 6″ mailer. Prop 6 is that pesky, subversive citizens ballot initiative that, if approved by voters, will roll back the gas tax. But Prop. 6 isn’t the topic here. Rather, […]

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How Much Space Does $200,000 Get You in Texas Compared to the Rest of the Country?

Looking at the numbers in the context of the rest of the country, though, helps explain the boom that we’ve seen throughout the state. Austin’s average of 1,341-square feet per $200,000 makes the city seem expensive and overpriced to people in parts of the state where your money goes a lot further. But it’s a […]

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How fighting climate change will raise California gas prices even higher

Last year the California Legislature raised gasoline taxes by 12 cents a gallon, and conservatives were so outraged they launched an effort to repeal it at the ballot box. Proposition 6 comes up for a vote in November. Now, with considerably less fanfare, the state’s air-pollution agency has enacted a regulation that will raise gas […]

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California defies Trump on climate change with new car emissions rules

Defying the Trump administration on climate change, California’s air-pollution agency ruled Friday that automakers must comply with the state’s strict rules on greenhouse gases if they want to continue selling cars here. The California Air Resources Board approved a regulation that will significantly curtail carbon spewed by new cars sold in the state, beginning in […]

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Also on the November ballot? Lots and lots of school bonds

Californians in November will weigh billions of dollars’ worth of ballot measures for low-income housing, children’s hospitals and more. But one of the biggest asks will be mostly invisible to most voters—100 or more local proposals to sell bonds for school construction projects that, if passed, could total more than $12 billion in local borrowing […]

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