Legislative Bill Spotlight: ACA 1 (lower voter approval threshold for housing and infrastructure bonds) and AB 213 (VLF to cities)

pic for spotlight on legislative bills.png

by Julia Cogan

Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 1, also known as the Community Say for Community Needs Act, would place a measure on the 2019 ballot to amend the California constitution to lower the voter approval threshold from two-thirds to 55 percent for affordable housing and infrastructure revenue measures, namely local general obligation (GO) bonds and certain special taxes. It has been a growing concern at the state level that local governments do not have enough tools to address the housing crisis and the ever-growing local infrastructure need. A way to tackle this is to increase localities’ access to GO bonds and certain special taxes by lowering the threshold to a more easily reached 55 percent approval rate.

ACA 1 was heard in the Assembly Appropriations committee on May 16th and is expected to go the floor for final reading and vote before being sent over to the Senate. If your locality is for this legislation, submit comments to the author on the California Legislative Information site, or at the California Legislature Position Letter Portal.

AB 213, is passed, will revise the formula for allocating annual “vehicle license fee (VLF) adjustment amounts” to restore revenues to 143 cities that annexed inhabited territory after 2004 in reliance on the financial incentives that were removed by the passage of SB 89 in 2011, and are thus unable to take advantage of VLF revenues. The bill also provides this revenue source for future annexations of inhabited territory, now using the same rules applied to other cities.

Did your locality annex an area after 2004 that could now be eligible to receive VLF under the same formula as other cities? If so, you can voice your support to the author on the California Legislative Information site, or at the California Legislature Position Letter Portal. AB 213 was heard in the Assembly Appropriations committee on May 16th and is expected to go the floor for final reading and vote before being sent over to the Senate.