SB 961, a bill authored by Senator Ben Allen and sponsored by Move LA, is on its way to the Governor’s desk! The bill would allow local governments to create specialized enhanced tax increment financing districts (EIFDs) near high-frequency bus and rail corridors—with 40% of the tax increment going to affordable housing and 10% to urban greening and active transportation. The remainder of the funds can be used for transit capital projects including stations and programs supporting transit ridership
The bill, called the “Second Neighborhood Infill Finance and Transit Improvements Act” or NIFTI-2, got off the Assembly floor with a 53-25 vote last week, and the Senate concurred 38-1 on amendments made in the Assembly. The bill language and more information on votes and its history is HERE and HERE.
We believe NIFTI-2 has the potential to become a bookend to the state Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program—allowing cities to leverage even more funding from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and helping to overcome the current barriers to implementation encountered by EIFDs.
Why EIFDs are important but so few have been created: Click to read more!
Join us by endorsing the “No On Prop 6” campaign to repeal SB-1—the state transportation funding bill that Gov. Brown signed into law last year—and stop the attack on bridge and road safety! Do it because transportation funding is never just about transportation. It’s about all the things we care about: access to opportunity and jobs, equity, air quality and climate change, public health and safety, and the amount of money we need to spend maintaining our cars, trains, buses and bikes.
Last year this transportation funding bill started providing more than $5 billion/year over 10 years for 6,500 projects in all counties and cities in California, helping to address the huge backlog of maintenance and repair needs—filling potholes and repaving crumbling roads, increasing the safety of bridges and roads, and relieving traffic congestion by improving public transit and making it easier to walk and bike.
We all know the extent to which California’s transportation system has fallen into disrepair, which is why the transportation funding bill was approved by a 2/3 majority in the state legislature. If Prop 6 wins it will stop projects in every county—in LA County alone, for example, funding will be pulled from 303 projects to fill potholes & repave roads, 281 to improve road/bridge safety, 50 to relieve traffic congestion, and 51 for bike/ped safety. And LA Metro is set to receive about $1.8 billion in state funds that are largely dependent on the availability of this funding.
It’s also important to point out that as a result of the transportation funding bill the state’s 2018 budget invested more money in public transportation, walking and biking than ever before—and the funded road and highway projects are mostly about safety and repairs and not expansion. Rebuild California’s map of all these projects is HERE.
These investments are about improving public safety but also have a huge impact on the economy, adding an estimated $182.6 billion over the next decade as well as supporting 682,000 jobs—the full report on the economic impacts is HERE. Let’s reinvest in our transportation system because it determines our quality of life, our health and safety, and the strength of our economy!
There’s much more info about the No Prop 6 campaign on the official website HERE.
Thank you! (And tell your friends!)
Paid for by No on Prop 6: Stop the Attack on Bridge & Road Safety, sponsored by business, labor, local governments and transportation advocates
Committee Major Funding from
California Alliance for Jobs
Southern California Partnership for Jobs
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
Funding details at www.fppc.ca.gov
It's time for bold action. Progress on air pollution is slowing—perhaps even reversing—and climate change is an increasing threat with more cars and trucks on our roads. The solution to each is the same: Southern California must accelerate use of zero & near-zero emission vehicles! Move LA's regional ballot measure plan for 2020—we call it VISION 2020—will accomplish just that! Vote to help Move LA win $200,000 to start now to create the regional coalition we need to win.
Diesel emissions are a toxic air contaminant that contributes to high rates of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases including asthma. Low-income communities along heavily traveled diesel truck corridors especially face high rates of air pollution related diseases. Yet the goods movement industry is Southern California's biggest economic engine and creator of jobs.
Can we have prosperity, clean air, and fight climate change? Yes, if we accelerate use of zero and near-zero emission vehicles.
Here's our VISION 2020 plan:
- Step 1: Build a broad and diverse coalition to coordinate a winning regional ballot measure campaign to accelerate use of zero-emission cars and zero- and near-zero emission trucks.
- Step 2: Convince the state Legislature and our new governor to authorize the South Coast AQMD to put a measure on the ballot in November 2020 to get this done.
- Step 3: Campaign to win!
Dump diesel to improve air quality. Conquer climate change. Clean up goods movement. Improve Metrolink. These are all inter-related challenges, and we must come together as a region in a cooperative effort to fix them.
We can do this! We did it before in LA County with big, broad coalitions that won county-wide campaigns for Measures R and M for transit with a more than two-thirds of the vote, and Measure H for housing and services for people who are homeless.
Voters in San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties have also previously approved sales tax measures for transportation—San Bernardino County voters did so by almost 80%!
It's all about building a coalition that can reach a "grand bargain" on priorities for a regional measure to do these things, and then convincing the Legislature to allow us to put a measure like that on the November 2020 ballot.
We're calling this campaign Vision 2020, and we've begun working on it.
The My LA2050 Activation Challenge would help fund this work. PLEASE VOTE FOR OUR VISION 2020 PROPOSAL and we could win $200,000 to help us move Vision 2020 forward. VOTE HERE: movela.org/myLA2050
This is the time for bold action. Progress on air pollution is slowing—and perhaps reversing—as VMT (vehicle miles traveled) increases. Climate change is becoming more and more threatening. The regional goods movement system is mired in traffic congestion and causing alarm in communities along the freeways that are full of diesel trucks. Metrolink could be improved with and made better, faster and cleaner, with more frequent service and extended to regional airports like Ontario.
The goods movement industry is Southern California's biggest economic engine—diesel trucks coming from the ports carry 40% of all cargo entering the U.S. But 80% of SoCal's NOx emissions are caused by diesel trucks and off-road vehicles including those at the ports. And 50% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector.
Fortune favors the bold. Let's:
- Step 1: Create a grand, region-wide coalition—Move SoCal?—a grand coalition to coordinate a winning regional campaign.
- Step 2: Convince the State Legislature and the new governor to allow the South Coast Air Quality Management District to putsuch a measure on the ballot in November 2020?
- Step 3: Campaign to win!
Fortune favors the bold! Vote for us and let's do it together! There's more information on our proposal HERE.
After winning a 38-0 vote on the Senate floor last week (with 1 member not voting), Sen. Ben Allen's SB 961 is on its way to the Assembly. The bill, which Move LA is sponsoring, would allow local governments to create "Neighborhood Infill Finance and Transit Improvements (NIFTI-2)" districts within a half mile of rail transit stations and major transit stops. Any increase in local sales and property taxes within the districts could be used for affordable housing, transit infrastructure, neighborhood greening and other improvements. It's sort of like creating, to quote one person, "mini community redevelopment districts around transit stops.”
The tax increment revenue stream that is created under NIFTI-2—and this provision is key—could be bonded against without voter approval to provide early up-front money for investments as long as 40% of the revenues are spent on affordable housing (half for those making less than 60% of AMI and half for those making less than 30% of AMI or who are homeless) and the remaining 60% is spent on improvements including:
- Additional multifamily affordable housing projects or mixed-use projects with affordable housing and ground floor commercial uses that support infill and compact development;
- Transit capital projects, including stations and programs supporting transit ridership;
- Active transportation capital projects, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities and supportive infrastructure such as first-last-mile connections to stations;
- Capital projects that implement local complete streets programs;
- Capital costs of parks, urban forestry, and permanent urban greening improvements along boulevards, streets, and other public areas;
- Detached and/or decoupled parking structures in lieu of onsite parking for proposed developments and with less than one space per residential unit and with space on the ground floor for pedestrian-oriented commercial or public uses. Parking revenues can be used to implement transportation demand management programs to reduce automobile trips to and from the district;
- Other projects or programs to reduce GHG emissions and criteria air pollutants by reducing VMT in the community.
The bill language is HERE. But we are working with advocates and Sen. Allen to add language that would help prevent the displacement of people who live in these neighborhoods and the loss of existing housing, as well as to mitigate the impact on local businesses.
Counties, cities and schools currently share property and sales taxes, though the sharing arrangements vary from city to city. Because the NIFTI-2 infrastructure finance districts would require the approval of counties, it is vital that they are made attractive to counties.
Please send us your logo to sign on to our letter of support!
A little history: The theory behind community redevelopment, which was abolished in California in 2011, was that cities could create redevelopment areas and have the authority to use the increase in property taxes (the “tax increment”)—including the county's share—in ways that would create even more property tax revenues for local investment, creating a virtuous cycle of investments and enhanced revenues.
NIFTI-2 districts—like the several other "enhanced infrastructure finance districts" or EIFDs created by the Legislature since community redevelopment was ended—require the county to be a partner and agree to the formation of the district and the use of the tax increment. In NIFTI-2—and it’s predecessor NIFTI—this tax revenue includes both property and sales tax increments. This has made it difficult to create EIFDs since the counties must now agree to give up their share of the increment.
Cities need to figure out how to make NIFTI-2 districts an attractive proposition for counties by more vigorously addressing the priorities they share with counties. For example, the dedication of more funding for transit capital projects and for affordable housing—especially housing for the homeless—could make these agreements easier to achieve, especially if cities bring local matching funds to the table.
In LA County, for example, cities could use other local housing funds or their Local Return funding from transportation Measures R and M (which are providing $160 billion for transit capital projects over 40 years) to enhance commitments to transit projects, affordable housing near transit, or permanent supportive housing for people who are homeless—all priorities of LA County—thereby making it more likely the county would support the creation of these districts.
We will keep you updated.
We've made it into the list of Top 25 contenders in LA2050's "community-guided initiative" to make "Los Angeles the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live by the year 2050." How laudable an initiative is that? And we are indeed honored to have jumped over the first hurdle to become a 2018 contender for $200,000 in funding!
This is particularly poignant because we won this LA2050 competition before—in 2014 with a project called "Dream Big With @MoveLATransit"— when we asked for funding that would allow us to work with a social media expert who could teach us how to seed "a countywide public conversation around public transportation with a digital media platform and strategy." (Thank you Vance Hickin! And thank you LA2050!) That was the very beginning of our campaign to win Measure M and $160 billion for transit—and you know what happened then! (It passed thanks at least in part to the mobilizing we and other advocates and elected officials were able to do using social media.)
But we have an even bigger campaign to win this time—Vision 2020, which you can read about here. Our previous project was in the "Connect" category. This year we are competing in the "Live" category, with a goal that LA2050 describes this way: "Our region’s residents will have the economic means and cultural capital to lead active, healthy lives, and everyone benefits from a sustainable environment.
"By the year 2050," the description continues, "Los Angeles will have the nation’s lowest obesity rates and every neighborhood will have access to healthy, affordable food. Every family will be able to afford quality health care and housing. And no families will face environmental health hazards because of where they live or how much money they make."
The italics are mine, because that's exactly what we want to do: We want to build a really big and powerful 4-county coalition around a very big goal: to end air pollution and abate climate change in SoCal, especially in low-income communities near heavily traveled goods movement corridors, by accelerating the deployment of clean cars and—especially—trucks, by electrifying and expanding Metrolink, and by modernizing goods movement infrastructure. Do we want to dump diesel, too? You bet!
Whether we win is determined by popular vote, and voting begins June 19! Mark your calendars. Of course we'll remind you!
Move LA is sponsoring Sen. Allen’s SB 961, which won a unanimous bipartisan 13-0 vote in the state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee this past Tuesday, a week after winning a unanimous vote in Senate Governance and Finance. The bill would enable cities and counties to create special infrastructure finance districts near transit that can collect the property and sales tax increment within the district and bond against that revenue stream without having to seek voter approval—so long as 40% of the funds are used for affordable housing.
Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), the chair of Senate Transportation and Housing, had met with Senator Allen (D-Santa Monica) before the committee hearing to make constructive amendments to the bill that would ensure that its housing and infrastructure investment program was targeted to the bus transit corridors most likely to provide significant transit opportunities.
After the committee vote, Senator Beall then looked directly into the California Channel camera that films committee proceedings and made a direct plea to Governor Brown to accept the bill’s provision that removes the requirement for voter approval before tax increment proceeds from these districts can be bonded against. CLICK THE VIDEO ABOVE to see/hear Beall appeal to Governor Brown (via the California Channel) to accept the amendment.
Historically, voter approval has only been required when the bond might require increasing taxes (e.g., school bonds) or might require a city to pledge its general fund as security for the bonds (e.g., general obligation bonds). Tax increment financing bonds are backed by property taxes that grow as property values grow, and therefore neither raise taxes nor involve a city’s general fund.
The bill will now go to Senate Appropriations because there is a small amount of state funding proposed in the bill for evaluating the implementation of this program as well as other infrastructure financing districts.
If passed SB 961 would create “Neighborhood Infill Finance and Transit Improvement (NIFTI-2) Districts” in the half-mile radius around rail stations and along frequent bus corridors. Removing the voter-approval provision makes this infrastructure financing district much more likely to be adopted, would spend 40% of the increment on affordable housing, 60% on neighborhood improvements, and create new transit-oriented neighborhoods where transit riders could afford to live.
There are active conversations about a carve-out for investments in urban greening as well as active transportation to make a NIFTI-2 district a more attractive place to live in—and to develop housing in—and to ensure ease of access to transit. READ MORE ABOUT THE BILL HERE.
Move LA is sponsoring 2 very important initiatives to lower the cost of housing and transportation for low-income Californians and both are in committee early this week:
SB 961 by Sen. Ben Allen would provide a new revenue stream for affordable housing in “enhanced infrastructure finance districts” near transit. Up in Senate Transportation and Housing TOMORROW (Tuesday) at 1:30 p.m.
- Asm. Chris Holden is asking Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3 to provide $50 million for discounted transit passes for low-income students statewide. In committee Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
Please consider writing your own letters of support or sign on to our support letters—there are links to the letters and more info in the blog posts below. But to weigh in and be heard before these committee hearings it’s best to call your representative or the chair of the committee asap.
Calling is super easy: Tell the person who answers the phone that you urge the senator to support SB 961 or that you urge the assemblymember to support Asm Holden's budget ask for $50 million for student transit passes. (If you are calling about student transit passes and the person who answers the phone asks for a bill number tell them Asm. Holden's ask is not related to a current bill.)
And that's it. If you live in their district you will be asked for your name and address; if you are calling the chair and don’t live in their district say you want to make your opinion known because you think this is an important issue. That's all. The call usually takes a minute but your opinion will be counted!
You can google the Wikipedia page of each district if you need to find out whether you live there. If your district isn’t represented on the committee please call the chair.
For SB 961 call the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee:
Senator Jim Beall (Chair) • D-San Jose • District 15 • (916) 651-4015
Senator Anthony Cannella (Vice Chair) • R-Ceres • District 12 • (916) 651-4012
Senator Benjamin Allen • D-Santa Monica • District 26 • (916) 651-4026
Senator Bill Dodd • D-Napa • District 3 • (916) 651-4003
Senator Ted Gaines • R-El Dorado • District 1 • (916) 651-4001
Senator Cathleen Galgiani • D-Stockton • District 5 • (916) 651-4005
Senator Mike McGuire • D-Healdsburg • District 2 • 916-651-4002
Senator Mike Morrell • R-Rancho Cucamonga • District 23 • 916.651.4023
Senator Richard D. Roth • D-Riverside • District 31 • (916) 651-4031
Senator Nancy Skinner • D-Berkeley • District 9 • (916) 651-4009
Senator Andy Vidak • R-Hanford • District 14 • (916) 651-4014
Senator Bob Wieckowski • D-Fremont • District 10 • (916) 651-4010
Senator Scott D. Wiener • D-San Francisco • District 11 • (916) 651-4011
For funding for discounted student transit passes call Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3
Asm. Richard Bloom (Chair) • D-Santa Monica • District 50 • (916) 319-2050
Asm. Vincent Fong • R-Bakersfield • District 34 • (916) 319-2050
Asm. Kevin Mullin • D-South San Francisco • District 22 • (916) 319-2022
Asm. Jim Patterson • R-Fresno • District 23 • (916) 319-2023
Asm. Philip Ting • D-San Francisco • District 19 • (916) 319-2019
Asm. Jay Obernolte • R-Big Bear Lake • District 33 • (916) 319-2033
Thank you for your support on these important issues!