12/02/2021

News

Gas Prices to Stay High as Exxon Mobil Refinery Woes Drag On

The refinery that has historically produced about a fifth of Southern California’s gasoline has been crippled since a February explosion — and may stay that way for months to come.

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Economists See U.S. Strong Enough to Withstand Global Risks

China and its swooning stock market pose a growing risk to the global economy, say economists surveyed this month by The Wall Street Journal. But healthier U.S. consumer spending and a stronger housing market will provide enough domestic power to offset any drag coming from the world’s No. 2 economy.

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U.S. Consumer Prices Rose 0.3% in June

U. S. consumer prices rose in June—and for the first time in 2015 this broad measure of inflation is in positive territory when compared with a year ago.

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Silicon Valley Doesn’t Believe U.S. Productivity Is Down

In 1987, during the last period of productivity hand-wringing, Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Solow quipped: “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

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State Resolution Praises Papal Encylclical on Climate Change

The state Senate approved a resolution on Thursday praising Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and calling on politicians to heed its call for better stewardship of the environment.

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Is It Wise to Give Regulators the Power to Impose Cuts in State’s Gasoline Use?

“This kind of unregulated, unlimited power is concerning,” [Assemblyman Roger] Hernandez told the committeee. “We are the ones who make the law…. This is giving them a blank check … a complete transfer of power.”

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Southern California Home Sales Soar in June; Prices Climb 5.7%

Home sales are up. All-cash and investor purchases are down. And home prices are rising at a more sustainable pace than in the last few years.

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Los Angeles County Property Values See Largest Jump in 5 Years

Fueled by an increase in home sales, the assessed value of all taxable property in Los Angeles County rose 6.13 percent in 2015 — the largest jump since 2010 — the county assessor reported Thursday.

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The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits

Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for weatherizing their homes, installing solar panels, buying hybrid and electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” investments. We use tax return data to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of program recipients. We find that these tax expenditures have gone predominantly to higher-income Americans. The bottom three income quintiles have received about 10% of all credits, while the top quintile has received about 60%. The most extreme is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where we find that the top income quintile has received about 90% of all credits.

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Employee or Contractor? Labor Department Seeks to Clarify Rules

The Labor Department issued new guidance Wednesday intended to help companies answer that increasingly fraught question. The issue has taken on greater urgency with the growth of sharing-economy firms such as Uber and TaskRabbit, which increasingly rely on independent workers, often for short-term projects.

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Homeowners’ Temporary Tax Reductions are Going Away

Thanks to a rebound in the economy and real estate values, county assessment rolls — and by extension property tax revenues — are going up between 5.2 and 8.7 percent in eight Bay Area counties this fiscal year.

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New Study Says a Third of Californians in Poverty

Nearly a third of California’s households “struggle each month to meet basic needs,” largely because of the state’s high cost of living, a new study by United Ways of California concludes.

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Gas Prices Spike 69 Cents in One Week, but Relief May Be On the Way

The latest increases have boosted prices to $5 a gallon or more at some stations. And it begs the question — how much more can consumers take?

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Reducing Supply from California Refiners: Industries at Risk

In this report, the Institute for Applied Economics of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) conducts a regional dependency study of the refinery industry, evaluating the ripple effect of a potential reduction of supply of refined petroleum products and byproducts in California.

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California Woos Business with Tax Credits: You Can Get In On Them

Gov. Jerry Brown’s California Competes program has allocated some $200 million in tax credits in fiscal 2016 for companies to expand in or relocate to California.

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