February 8, 2008, Presidential Primary Election Ballot PropositionsTaxation Committee Legislative CommitteeThe following is for study only and has NOTbeen approved by the Taxation Committee, Legislative Committee, Executive Committee, or Board of Directors.Issue: What position should C.A.R. take on the ballot propositions on the February 2008 ballot?Action: Necessary, if C.A.R. wishes to take positions on the February 2008 ballot propositions.Option: C.A.R. Ballot Position Options:1.FOR: This ballot measure is consistent with C.A.R. policy and its passage would be beneficial to the real estate industry.2. AGAINST: This ballot measure conflicts with C.A.R. policy and its passage could have a harmful effect on the real estate industry.3. NEUTRAL: This ballot measure may be real estate related, but C.A.R. has chosen not to take a position.4. NOT REAL ESTATE RELATED: This ballot measure may be significant, but is deemed to not be related to propertyor real estate transactions.PROPOSITION NUMBER PENDING: Transportation Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.Committee: Taxation CommitteeSummary:Proposition 1A, approved by the voters in 2006, allows the General Fund to “borrow” or suspend the Transportation Investment Fund (TIF) transfer for three years when the Governor declares that the transfer would cause a“significant negative fiscal impact on governmental functions” in conjunction with the enactment of an authorizing statute by the Legislature. This ballot measure would prohibit the retention of funds earmarked for the TIF by the General Fundfor use unrelated to transportation after July 1, 2008. Furthermore, this initiative would eliminate General Fund “borrowing” of transportation funds, except for cash-flow purposes, and would require repayment to the TIF within 30 days of theadoption of a state budget. The proposition would also require all funds not transferred to the TIF prior to July 1, 2007, be repaid by June 30, 2017. Finally, the initiative would re-affirm the TIF allocation formula for the distribution of the revenuesestablished by Propositions 42 and 1A.Pro:Proponents to this measure have yet to register with the Secretary of State’s Office.Con:Opposition to this measure has yet toregister with the Secretary of State’s Office.NOTE:The issue this ballot proposition is seeking to solve was addressed by Proposition 1A approved by the voters in the 2006 General Election. Unfortunately, this measure failed to qualify in time to appear on that ballot and, thus, the TIF funding problem has been resolved.C.A.R.’s Board of Directors, at its October 2001 meeting, voted to take a “NEUTRAL” position on PROPOSITION 42 of 2002, known as the Transportation Funding: Sales and Use Tax Revenues, Legislative Constitutional Amendment. Proposition 42 required, from 2003 through 2008, that gasoline sales tax revenues be used for state and local transportation purposes and allocated the revenues as follows: 20 percent to public transportation, 40 percent to transportation improvement projects, and 40 percent to local streets and roads improvements.
C.A.R.’s Board of Directors, at its June 2006 Meetings, voted to take a “FOR” position on Proposition 1A of 2006, known as the Transportation Funding Protection, Legislative Constitutional Amendment. This proposition changed the provisions for suspending the transfer from the General Fund to the Transportation Investment Fund (TIF) by requiring (1) the Governor’s proclamation to declare that the suspension is necessary “due to a severe fiscal hardship,” (2) the legislature enacts a statute, passedby a 2/3 vote in each house, suspending the transfer, and (3) the legislature enacts a second statute to repay the TIF with interest by the end of the third fiscal year of the original suspension. Proposition 1A allows the transfer to the TIF to be suspended only twice within a 10 year period, and prohibits withholding the transfer to the TIF if the previous suspension has not been repaid. Finally, Proposition 1A requires that all funds that were not transferred to the TIF prior to July 1, 2007, be repaidby June 30, 2016, and makes the tax on motor vehicle fuels, and the TIF allocation formula for the distribution of the revenues established by Proposition 42, permanent. C.A.R. supported Proposition 1A because it protects transportation funding for traffic congestion relief projects and safety improvements and restricts the state from using state fuel taxes for any purpose other than transportation improvements.Position: ___ FOR___AGAINST ___NEUTRAL ___NOT REAL ESTATE RELATEDPROPOSITION NUMBER PENDING: Community Colleges. Funding. Governance. Fees. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.Committee: Taxation CommitteeSummary:This proposition establishes a system of independent public community college districts and a Board of Governors (BOG), consisting of 19 members appointed by the Governor, in the state constitution. Beginning in 2007-08, the total amount of General Fund and local property tax revenues allocated to school districts and community colleges would be calculated separately for each system. K-12 funding would increase according to the existing Proposition 98 formula that is based on growth in the economy and K-12 attendance. Community colleges districts funding from Proposition 98 would increase a minimum of 1 percent, with a cap at 5 percent, in any year based on economic growth and changes in the college-age population. The initiative allocates 10.46 percent of any funds the Legislature allocates as repayment of Proposition 98 to community colleges and reduces community college fees to $15 per unit, instead of the current $26 per unit. The initiative limits future fee increases toten percent or, if it is lower, the percent change in personal income in California. The Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance estimate an annual loss of fee revenue to community colleges of $85 million in 2007-08 but the revenue loss will partiallybe offset by the minimum funding guarantee.Pro:The proponents argue that the state can fund community enrollment without raising taxes or taking funds from K-12 by utilizing a dual-funding mechanism under Proposition 98. Furthermore, the proponent’s argue that this initiative will lower student fees and prevent fees from increasing faster than the personal incomes.Con:Opposition to this measure has yet to register withthe Secretary of State’s Office.NOTE:C.A.R.’s Board of Directors, at its October 1988 Meetings, voted to take an “AGAINST” position on Proposition 98 of 1988, known as the School Funding Initiative.C.A.R. opposed Proposition 98 because it established ballot box budgeting and committed the state to make revenue available to education for instructional improvements and accountability without regard to other state obligations. The proposition established a minimum level of state funding for school and community college districts, which is equal to a minimum increase of four percent of the preceding years budget adjusted for inflation and increases in enrollment. C.A.R. also objected to the funding formula because it does not allow for school funding to ever be reduced; it can only be increased.Position: ___ FOR ___AGAINST ___NEUTRAL ___NOT REAL ESTATE RELATEDPROPOSITION NUMBERPENDING: Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.Committee: Legislative CommitteeSummary:This proposition reduces the total amount of time aperson may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years; however, the initiative allows a person to serve a total of 12 years either in the Assembly, the Senate, or a combination of both. The proposition provides a transition period to allowcurrent members of the Legislature to serve a total of 12 consecutive years in the house in which they are currently serving. This 12 year limitation will include those years already served in the house where the member is currently serving, but does notinclude any prior service in the other house of the legislature.Pro:Proponents argue that term limits need to be reformed to reduce partisanship, and put an end to the constant campaign cycle. Furthermore, proponents argue thatit is critical to permit legislators to remain in a single house of the Legislature for a longer period of time in order to acquire the knowledge and expertise necessary to address public policy issues facing California.Con:Opponents argue that this proposition’s sole goal is to allow current legislators to continue to serve in the State Legislature and to ultimately weaken term limits for future legislators.NOTE:C.A.R.’s Board of Directors, at its October 1990 Meetings, voted to take a “NOT REAL ESTATE REALTED POSITION” on Proposition 140 of 1990, which placed limits on terms in office, legislators’ retirement and legislative operating costs.Proposition 140 limited the number of years an individual my serve in the State Legislature. The initiative permits a member of the Legislature to serve at total of 14 years, consisting of no more then six years, or three terms, in the Assembly and no more then eight years, or two terms, in the Senate.Position: ___ FOR ___AGAINST ___NEUTRAL ___NOT REAL ESTATE RELATEDNovember 4, 2008, General Election Ballot PropositionPROPOSITION NUMBER PENDING: Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century. Summary:This measurewould enact the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Train Bond Act for the 21st Century to provide $9.95 billion in general obligation bonds to fund the planning and construction of a high-speed passenger (bullet) trainsystem and improvements to other rail systems in the state. $9 billion would be used in conjunction with available federal funds for the purpose of funding the planning and construction of a high-speed train system in this state pursuant to the business plan of the High-Speed Rail Authority. $950 million of the bond proceeds would be available for capital projects on other passenger rail lines to provide connections to the high-speed train system, capacity enhancements and safety improvements to those lines. The initial network would run from San Francisco to Los Angeles, with the initial network from the Bay Area to Southern California possibly in operation by 2008. The measure defines a "high-speed train" as a passenger train capable of sustained operating speeds of at least 200 miles per hour, and establishes a separate definition for "high-speed train system" as a system with high-speed trains, including, right-of-way, track, power system, rolling stock, stations and associated facilities.
Pro:Proponents of the measure foresee a 700-mile high speed train system extending from San Diego to the Bay Area and Sacramento, serving the major metropolitan centers of the state. Increasing congestion and security considerations in air travel, impediments toairport expansion and related ground access requirements will increase the need for the development and expansion of alternative means of transportation and travel. The proponents foresee a high-speed train system that will provide a new mode of travel that links the major metropolitan areas of the state; connections to international airports, mass transit, and the highway network; provides added capacity to meet increases in intercity travel demand in California; and a rail system that would be constructed in a manner sensitive to, and protective of, California's unique natural resources. Con:Opposition to this measure has yet to register with the Secretary of State’s Office.NOTE: The C.A.R. Board of Directors, at its September 2005 Meetings, voted to take a “NOT REAL ESTATE RELATED” position. AB 713 of 2006 provides that the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century removed the proposition from the November 7, 2006, General Election ballot and it is now scheduled to appear on the November 4, 2008, General Election ballot.Position: ___ FOR ___AGAINST ___NEUTRAL _X_NOT REAL ESTATE RELATED