Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
A dire report on climate change issued by a United Nations panel influenced Washington-based Microsoft to take a position on a controversial state carbon fee, Initiative 1631. Oil companies are fighting back, citing wide exemptions from the fee.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker charges that his Democratic opponent, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, will hike gas taxes by as much as a dollar a gallon to fund road repair, on top of raising income and property taxes.
Californians will determine whether to repeal recent fuel tax and user fee increases; Missourians to vote on a 10-cent gas tax hike over 4 years; Coloradans whether to hike the sales tax, and the most interesting measure will be decided in Utah.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner might as well have accused his Democratic opponent of wanting to hike the gas tax. J.B. Pritzker denies he plans to introduce a VMT fee but admits that he's open to all ideas to raise revenue to maintain infrastructure.
After the Rhode Island General Assembly passed controversial legislation in February 2016 spearheaded by Gov. Gina Raimondo (D), the first two of what will be 13 truck-only toll gantries became operational on June 11. Results are looking good.
Two transportation bonding initiatives will appear on the ballot on Nov. 6: A $3.5 billion measure would have debt repayments come from the general fund, while a $6 billion initiative would create a revenue stream by hiking sales taxes.
Unlike prior initiatives that sought drilling bans, Prop. 112 would greatly increase setbacks from buildings to such an extent that it could doom much of the industry. A competing initiative would make the change a "taking" and require compensation.
Initiative 1631 takes up where Gov. Jay Inslee's carbon tax legislation ended in March after failing to attract enough supporters. The new initiative differs from I- 732 which was rejected by 59 percent of voters two years ago.
One of the most controversial measures on the November 6 ballot in California is Prop. 10: the repeal of the landmark Costa-Hawkins Act that places limits on rent control. Real estate investment trusts are donating big time to defeat it.
Repeal proponents have already planned a sequel for Proposition 6, regardless of whether the measure passes, resulting in the loss of over $5 billion annually from new transportation user fees, including a 12-cents per gallon gas tax increase.
One finding from a new statewide survey, "Californians and the Environment," suggests that the environment is becoming a more bipartisan issue, but that finding is still subject to interpretation. What isn't is the top environmental issue: water.
Brisbane, a city of about 4,700 on the southern border of San Francisco, will vote on a controversial ballot measure in November to approve or reject a mixed-use development including up to 2,200 residential units on a 660-acre vacant brownfield.
California voters in November will have the opportunity to help repair the Friant-Kern Canal, damaged by subsidence, as well as invest in watershed conservation programs, by passing a citizen-initiated $8.9 billion general obligation bond measure.
It started in Seattle with the Amazon Tax to pay for transportation and housing needs exacerbated by the city's largest employers. Last month, a Google Tax was placed on the November ballot in Silicon Valley. A landlord tax in Oakland could be next.
A California taxpayers association has challenged the June passage of a regional ballot measure because it didn't receive two-thirds support from voters, although two prior voter-approved bridge toll increases also fell short of a super-majority.
The revenue bonds would be funded from a millionaires' surtax, approved by voters in 2004, to pay for health programs, but not housing, for the mentally ill. Also on ballot: a $4 billion general obligation bond measure to fund housing for veterans.
The initiative is much more than whether to repeal taxes and fees enacted by the passage of the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 which brings in over $5 billion a year. The measure is a means to increase GOP turnout to retain House seats.
A ballot measure to enable older homeowners in California, particularly empty nesters, to downsize without losing their tax benefits granted to them by the 1978 Proposition 13, has qualified for the November ballot.