California and Hot Topics 2018

Friday, March 09, 2018

The 2018 elections are coming—and those of you who don’t spend your waking hours monitoring the Secretary of State’s website may have some questions. Questions like: Wait, there’s an election this year? And: Didn’t we just have an election? And: Is Governor Jerry Brown running again?

One hot topic that will shape the state’s future……..


Didn’t the Legislature already fix the housing issue?

Sadly, no. Despite California lawmakers’ best efforts to improve regulations and channel more money into low-income housing construction with a series of bills last August, California is still projected to fall woefully short of affordable places to live.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who remains the frontrunner in the governor’s race has said he would like the state to set a goal of building 3.5 million new homes by 2025—a proposal that walks the line between bold and delusional.

More recently, current state treasurer, John Chiang, and the gubernatorial candidate most likely to issue a white paper, released his own detailed plan: more funding for low-income housing subsidies and more carrots and sticks to entice or compel local governments to allow more residential development.

Voters will also be asked to sign off on lawmakers’ plans to borrow $4 billion to build more affordable housing and subsidize the rent of veterans. Depending on how the signature gathering goes, they may also see a ballot measure that could repeal California’s restrictions on rent control—local laws that cap how much landlords can charge tenants. Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom from Santa Monica will introduce a similar proposal in the Legislature.

Finally, there’s the $1.5 trillion question mark that is the recent rewrite of the federal tax code. As the California housing market adjusts to the newly slashed corporate tax rate and the reduced deductibility of property taxes and mortgage interest, expect to hear more…..STAY TUNED…..