The Committee to House the Bay Area and the coming tax tsunami

by: Bob Silvestri : marinpost – excerpt

On Monday evening, I attended an event held by the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers (CO$T) at Piatti Restaurant, entitled “What they don’t want you to know about taxes, pensions, public education and services.” David Crane, the guest speaker and founder of Govern for California, made a compelling presentation about the coming financial crisis in our state.

Some of the many causes of Crane’s well-reasoned predictions included the State’s bogus accounting tricks, its imaginary investment return projections, and its skyrocketing retiree benefits and healthcare obligations. He also noted how California’s tax revenues have become lopsided and increasingly dependent on fewer and fewer super-wealthy individuals, so that the next recession promises to be long and painful and expensive.

In his words, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”….

It’s all about housing, or so they say

MTC is now unofficially the San Francisco Bay Area’s most powerful planning and housing agency. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the former nemesis of local control seems to exist only as a consulting firm to MTC or to justify its existence and huge budget by doing “studies” and managing projects set in motion before its planning functions were stripped away by MTC. Our elected representatives who continue to sit on its general assembly and committees, effectively have little say anymore on planning and housing issues.

How this “coup” of the planning and housing development funding powers of ABAG by an unelected state agency came about has been well documented in the Marin Post by Zelda Bronstein (ABAG leaders betray local cities and Regional government sells out Bay Area cities)…

A case in point of this power grab is a new sub-commission of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), our largest Bay Area, unelected, state-funded agency. It’s called CASA – The Committee to House the Bay Area.

Unbeknownst to just about everyone, CASA is now the most powerful committee for Bay Area affordable housing planning, even though most of us have never heard of it nor had any say in who was chosen to be on it…

The chairs and co-chairs of CASA and the conveners of their subcommittees are:

Fred Blackwell – Chief Executive Officer | The San Francisco Foundation (Bio), described on the web site as a visionary leader working to ensure shared prosperity, innovation, and equity in the Bay Area.

Leslye Corsiglia – Executive Director | Silicon Valley at Home (Bio), described as “the voice” for affordable housing in Silicon Valley. Based initially in the Housing Trust Silicon Valley, SV@Home is a membership organization that advocates for policies, programs, land use, and funding.

Michael Covarrubias – Chair and Chief Executive Officer | TMG Partners (Bio), a privately-held, full-service development company headquartered in San Francisco focusing on urban infill projects in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Steve Heminger – Executive Director | Metropolitan Transportation Commission (Bio)…(more)

Key senator vows to block climate deal that would aid polluters

By Julie Cart : CalMatters – excerpt

An irritated chairman of a state Senate Budget subcommittee says he intends to thwart a recent move by the state Air Resources Board that could give California’s biggest polluters a cushion of more than $300 million.

In a sharp rebuke of the board, Sen. Bob Wieckowski said Thursday that he’ll insert language into next year’s budget bill instructing regulators to reduce the free compensation they’re giving oil refineries and other industries covered under cap and trade, California’s signature climate policy.

Addressing a hearing, the Fremont Democrat read aloud from last week’s CALmatters story detailing the air board’s July meeting, where it unanimously voted to consider abandoning a scheduled reduction in free pollution allowances given to state industries—against the advice of its own staff and outside experts.

The board’s move came on the heels of a much-celebrated deal the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown struck to pass legislation extending the state’s cap-and-trade program to the year 2030. The bill’s author acknowledged that the fight to get a two-thirds vote required a number of deals—and that the air board’s later move was one of them.

“It was part of the deal to make sure we could get a (two-thirds) vote to extend the cap-and-trade program,” Democratic Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia of Coachella told CALmatters... (more)

When do the California citizens get to vote come in on these tax deals that will raise the costs of transporting necessary products such as food. Now they want to tax our water? What next? A tax on all citizens who live in the state? A tax to come in and out of the state for releasing carbon dioxide into the air when we breathe?

The attempt to recall Democratic Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, backed by a consortium of voters critical of Newman’s vote this year to raise the gasoline tax,  raised the necessary signatures, but, is being threatened by a new bill being formulated to stop it. These are the same people who are removing local rights to determine how our cities and towns are developed by imposing state levels.

Last-minute water tax can’t be justified however worthy the cause
Opinion: Tax water to provide clean water to Californians whose supply is contaminated

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