SACRAMENTO — A tax-sharing and regional planning bill aimed at metropolitan Sacramento cleared a significant legislative hurdle Thursday and picked up a key endorsement from state Treasurer Phil Angelides.
The bill, AB680, which proposes to put the region’s cities on equal financial footing and has statewide implications for growth, moved out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee to the Assembly floor for a vote next week.
The bill must pass the Assembly by Jan. 31 or die.
Angelides, a former real estate developer, called the bill important “for the signal it sends to the rest of the state. It’s not radical. It just says, ’We’re in this together.”’
The idea, proposed by Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and patterned after a 1970s program sharing $314 million in property taxes this year among 187 local governments in metro Minneapolis-St. Paul, would similarly divide sales taxes in the Sacramento region.
Steinberg also changed the bill Thursday, giving counties an escape clause form tax sharing if they ban new development in their rural areas. Changes also levy regional impact fees on new development to fund regional projects.
Among opponents, Roseville Mayor Claudia Gamar said the “poison pill” of tax-sharing remains.
Steinberg’s idea has sowed bitterness among older and newer cities in a six-county Sacramento region of 1.8 million people. Newer suburbs, rich with auto malls and regional shopping centers, are putting up $90,000 to defeat the measure. The city and county of Sacramento are putting up $120,000 to support it.
The Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, claiming 2,500 business members in six counties, opposes the bill. Other cities, including Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Rosa and Hayward, also weighed in against it.
Steinberg proposes to split growth in sales taxes three ways: a third to the city where the sale occurs, a third to the region and a third to the original city if it meets goals for affordable housing.