| || |
FY 2017-18 Council Goal: Legislative Advocacy
Increasing costs from federal and state regulation and new legislation affect the fiscal health of the City and reduce the level of funds available for other community priorities. The City has taken a strong, proactive role to increase its visibility and influence within the region and at the state and federal levels, opening the door to greater engagement and dialogue with federal and state decision-makers on issues affecting the City’s fiscal health.
The City Council has set a legislative platform that focuses on preserving local control, providing financial flexibility, preventing unfunded mandates, protecting residents and businesses from costly state and federal regulations. It also prioritizes protecting the General Fund, enterprise funds and local sales-tax and property-tax revenues.
Key issues in FY2017-18 include the reliability of Roseville’s water supply, including regulatory change and water-infrastructure investment; electric utility issues, including cap-and-trade program changes, renewable-energy portfolio standards, and net metering; ensuring the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds remains in effect; and ensuring permitting processes at the state and federal levels will not unnecessarily hinder the ability of development projects to gain approval.
To increase effectiveness of the City’s efforts in these areas and others, the City works extensively with regional coalitions, forums, alliances, and established organizations such as the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the SacMetro Chamber of Commerce, the League of California Cities, the California Municipal Utilities Association, the Northern California Power Agency, and the Water Forum, along with ad hoc groups developed to address concerns with specific legislation. The City Council’s only standing committee, the Law & Regulation Committee, offers another way people can be informed about and comment on issues affecting the Roseville community from a state and federal level.
Key issues the City is working on this year include the following:
Cal Water Fix (Formerly Known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan)—Uncertainty in the City’s water supply and reliability would negatively affect the region’s economic vitality.
Federal and State Funding for Infrastructure and Transportation Projects—Preserving or increasing funding for these types of projects and improvements is critical for the City’s ability to upgrade and maintain roadways and meet future infrastructure and transportation demands.
Water Public Goods Charge—The City is increasingly concerned with the Legislature’s interest in imposing a Water Public Goods Charge (SB 20) that would collect revenue from local ratepayers and allocate the money for statewide projects that provide no direct benefit to Roseville’s ratepayers.
One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Water Conservation Targets—The City is concerned that the state will extend conservation targets that do not consider variations in climate, land-use, and other region-specific attributes; that fail to recognize previous water-supply reliability and conservation investments by the region and local community; and that do not account for potential relief from positive weather outcomes. This could negatively affect the City’s ability to attract and retain businesses, impacting our economic vitality.
Cost-Effective Utilities—Having well-run, reliable, and low-cost City-owned utilities has proven to be a significant economic advantage to the city and its businesses over the years. As a full-service city, Roseville owns and operates its own electric, water, wastewater, and solid waste utilities through Roseville Electric Utility and Environmental Utilities (EU). Key utility decisions are under the City’s control, which makes the planning, development and operation of utility services more efficient and reliable. This benefits customers with rates among the lowest in the region, the highest levels of reliability and quality with a relentless focus on planned expansion, and proactive renewal or replacement of utility assets.
The ability to provide reliable and cost-effective utilities to the residents and businesses of Roseville continues to be a central concern for the City as new state and federal mandates are proposed that would increase the cost of operating the utilities.
Cybersecurity—Future attacks on the City’s technology infrastructure along with state and federal laws regarding cybersecurity will continue to affect the City and the community. Implementing new cybersecurity requirements will add significant costs to the operation of the City’s information technology systems.
Changes to Tax-Exempt Status of Municipal Tax Bonds— Any proposals that would cap or eliminate the tax exemption on municipal bonds would significantly reduce the City’s ability to finance major projects that provide a public benefit. This would negatively and severely impact the City’s budget, increase rates for utility customers, and hinder the City’s ability to finance and construct public projects that benefit the community.
Changes in Electric-Industry Regulation—The City is monitoring legislation on many fronts in the electric industry, including cap-and-trade program changes, renewable energy portfolio standards, net metering, and financing for residential and commercial clean-energy upgrades through property assessments.
Modifications to Government-Operated Mortgage Programs—The City will remain active in understanding the changes being considered at the federal level to modify government-operated mortgage programs, tax-deductions and to write new banking regulations regarding mortgage-related lending programs. These all have the potential to impact the fragile housing recovery throughout the region and the state.
Challenges with State and Federal Permitting Processes—The City has concerns with various permitting processes at both the state and federal level that impact the ability of development projects to gain approval within a reasonable amount of time.
Preserving Sales Tax Revenue—As the public’s buying habits change, the City’s sales tax growth has slowed. This reduction has affected the City’s ability to fund core services. The City is interested in discussions regarding local tax systems, revenue losses due to decreases in sales tax revenue as a result of online purchasing, and the fundamental shift from purchasing taxable commodities, such as music CDs and video DVDs, to purchasing non-taxable services, such as music and video streaming services.
Homelessness—The City will remain active in addressing the needs of the City’s homeless population with a primary focus of reducing the population of chronically homeless by providing solutions that address the fundamental causes of homelessness and by supporting solutions that provide permanent housing.
Municipal-Based District Elections — The City has concerns regarding the possibility of legislation that would require all cities to change to a district-based election system and would remove the ability to determine the election system that works best for a specific city from the local community and their elected officials.