INFO ALERT: BizFed Opposes LA County Safe, Clean Water Program As Currently Drafted!

Posted June 21st, 2018 | Status:

 

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BizFed OPPOSES LA COUNTY’S SAFE, CLEAN WATER PROGRAM, AS CURRENTLY DRAFTED

Urges BizFed staff to continue working with County of Los Angeles officials for a program in 2020

June 19 was one of BizFed’s most attended Board meetings in 2018, the Board voted to OPPOSE as currently drafted, the Safe, Clean Water Program and to continue to work with LA County officials for a program in 2020!

With a fully packed agenda, the Safe, Clean Water program (a possible new PROPERTY TAX measure to fund stormwater quality and supply, etc) dominated the meeting taking nearly 60 minutes of the 90 minute meeting.  We had robust discussion first with the County, City of LA and other City officials, and then among members only. BizFed’s diverse board discussed the current draft ordinance, and our outstanding list of 11 specific concerns submitted on June 15th, which the County’s responded to the night of June 18th.

CLICK HERE to download BizFed’s Comment Letter submitted on June 15th, with County responses.

CLICK HERE to download BizFed’s Comment Letter submitted on May 11, with County responses.

Our membership believes the County has more work to do in incorporating our comments in their entirety, which led to our opposition to the program as currently proposed. BizFed’s major outstanding concerns include:

  1. project list with timelines, results and estimated cost. A basic to get 2/3rd’s of the voters to say yes to another tax! We can’t fund “trust me”.
  2. Scoring criteria percentages needs a minimum of 50% for water quality.  The County only came up to 45%. Projects must be selected primarily based on their water quality benefits.
  3. credit program for those who have already done their part to manage stormwater and dry weather flows. Having to pay a DOUBLE TAX does not work. While BizFed recognizes that there is a shared responsibility for government parcels, roads, etc., there must be a minimum of an 85% credit that is broadly available and administratively efficient.
  4. Acknowledgment, if the County passes a rent control ordinance, property owners can pass through this tax to their tenants.
  5. An exemption for properties that have installed and operate stormwater abatement systems through the issuance of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which captures all stormwater at that site for processing through an on-site water treatment process.
  6. The ordinance must include a “dusk clause” that specifies a DATE CERTAIN when the tax will be reduced to reflect the transition of the program from a mechanism to fund the development of new projects to a mechanism funding the operation, maintenance, and replacement of existing projects.

PLEASE NOTE: Since our May 11th letter, the County has addressed all 28 comments. The County has included the majority of our comments into the ordinance, but sadly the remaining concerns are critical issues in getting this ordinance right, and we are concerned about the lack of time to see and vet the final needed fixes.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR to JOIN US on Tues, July 10th, 9am at the Board of Supervisors Meeting, 500 West Temple St, LA.
We need a HUGE TURNOUT of business leaders to speak on this measure.

 


LOS ANGELES COUNTY HAS ONE MORE CHANCE TO GAIN OUR SUPPORT!

Between June 27th and July 3rd, Los Angeles County staff will be publishing their final documents to be presented to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for a FINAL VOTE on July 10th.

On July 9th, at 11am, BizFed will be convene an Executive Committee Call to vet the County’s final documents. Please remember, the Executive Committee has the weight of the full board, and CAN support or overturn any prior decision made by BizFed’s Board of Directors.

Please look out for an email invitation from De’Andre Valencia to RSVP.


BACKGROUND / FUTURE TIMELINE

The Safe, Clean Water Program is a stormwater parcel tax measure aiming to make the November 2018 ballot. This program would apply an additional tax of 2.5 cent per square foot of impermeable surface area, aiming at raising $300 million annually. Since March of 2016, when the motion was filed by Supervisors Kuehl and Solis, BizFed has organized a broad coalition of property related businesses, water organizations and municipal partners to advocate the concerns of our membership. BizFed has participated in all Steering Advisory Committee and Sub-Committee meetings and held one on one meetings with LA County officials. Furthermore, we have submitted comment letters regarding this program on May 8th, and May 30th of 2017, April 3rdMay 11th, and June 15th of 2018.

Due to the many of our major concerns not being addressed by the County of Los Angeles, on June 7, 2018 BizFed’s Advocacy Committee voted to recommend an oppose position regarding the current proposed ordinance and program elements but would like to work with County staff to bring about an ordinance that we and the voters at large can support in November of 2020.

On June 19th, BizFed Board of Directors voted to uphold the recommendation from the Advocacy committee.

BizFed Executive committee will convene on July 9th, at 11am, to vet the County’s final documents and determine if we change our final position to ADVOCATE LOUDLY at the July 10th, 9am Board of Supervisors meeting.

Important Dates:

  • 6/27-7/3 – County publishes final SCWP documents
  • 7/9 11am– BizFed Executive Committee Conference Call
  • 7/10 9am– LA County Board of Supervisors hearing

Talk to you soon,


Tracy Hernandez
http://bizfed.nationbuilder.com/

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