What Does the Left and Right Agree On Nationally? Housing

An article in the American Conservative argues that if there is one area in the next two years that Democrats and Republicans can work together on it is housing policy.

The crux of the article is this, housing prices have grown far faster than wages over the last several years and adjusting for inflation, the cost of a median home in the US has risen by more than 530 percent since 1950.

The publication argues that the cause is zoning restrictions where “many areas in the United States have very restrictive regulations on the heights of buildings and the use of land.”  They write, “These rules, supported by well-connected, civically active homeowners, restrict the supply of housing and raise property values. Zoning regulations unnecessarily limiting construction are at the heart of the housing crisis in San Francisco and many other cities.”

You might be tempted to chalk this up as anti-environmental regulation from the right until you realize that these same arguments are coming out of housing movements in California and the Democratically controlled state legislature.

A critical point that the article makes and how this will end up pertaining to places like Davis: “Zoning restrictions are determined at the local level. Federal programs have proven useless without local reforms that allow the housing supply to expand and drive down prices.”

The article pushes back against the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) noting that while it provides benefits for developers to build apartments available to low-income tenants, it “is remarkably ineffective.”

The majority of housing projects that have received the credit “would have been built without the credit.”  In other words, they argue, “the LIHTC is just a special tax benefit for developers. Additionally, the LIHTC has become increasingly inefficient over the past decade, building fewer houses even as program’s cost has grown by 66 percent.”

Similarly, “proposals to subsidize rents benefit landlords more than tenants—unless the housing supply increases.”

Increasingly then, politicians on both sides of the aisle “understand that to address the high cost of housing, the government must reform zoning regulations.”

You end up then with the particularly strange bedfellows of Ben Carson and Elizabeth Warren.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has put forward a plan the would attack local zoning restrictions preventing the construction of large apartment buildings and multi-family homes. Under his proposal, cities could only be eligible for Community Development Block Grant if they reform zoning laws to allow for the building of new housing.

There is support for this idea on the left as well.

Senator Warren recently released a three part plan to address the housing crisis.  Senator Warren’s bill, the American Housing and Economic Mobility act seeks to do three things: bring more federation money for construction.  She is proposing $470 billion over ten years.  Second, incentivize local governments to relax zoning rules, and pay for it by raising the estate tax.

While it is clear that Republicans will balk at $470 billion for more taxes and spending, both sides are on board creating federal incentives to reduce zoning regulations.

Senator Bernie Sander wrote in June that the country must work to “significantly” “increase federal investment in affordable housing and rent assistance for lower-income citizens.”

Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Cory Booker both introduced bills “that would offer refundable tax credits to individuals who spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent.”

Senator Warren’s Bill includes a $10 billion grant program that would enable communities to build “infrastructure, parks, roads, or schools,” under the condition that local governments reform land-use rules.  According to an article in the Boston Globe, “The provision has earned praise from the so-called YIMBY (yes in my backyard) crowd, who contend that certain zoning restrictions on urban development hamper the construction of more affordable housing.”

“This proposal will attack the rising cost of housing by helping to roll back needlessly restrictive local zoning rules and taking down other barriers that keep American families from living in neighborhoods with good jobs and good schools,” she said in a statement.

Jenny Schuetz, a housing policy expert with the Brookings Institution, told The Atlantic that “the currently proposed grant program may not be enough to incentivize the communities with the strictest zoning rules, which tend to be wealthy and don’t need federal assistance for local projects.”

While it is easy to get lost in the specifics here, the major point here is the push on the left now exists to relax zoning regulations.

As the American Conservative notes: “both sides agree on creating federal incentives for zoning deregulation.”  They believe, “A bill that focuses on consolidating existing, ineffective programs and turning them into engines for regulatory reform should thus have bipartisan support.”

These efforts could have a major impact on Davis – the interesting thing is that many are coming from Congress and the far left wing of the Democratic Party: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris with backing from traditional conservatives who are have long sought to attack local zoning restrictions.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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25 thoughts on “What Does the Left and Right Agree On Nationally? Housing”

  1. Craig Ross

    This is more evidence that Davis “progressives” are out of touch with the national movement.  When you have people like Elizabeth Warren and others pushing for less restrictive zoning, you know the worm has turned.

  2. Dave Hart

    I’m not sure I agree with your conclusions that this is a blanket attack on zoning rules per se.  It may very well be about attacking zoning rules where the specific intent is to restrict low to moderate income people from living nearby wealthy elitists.  I don’t think that applies to Davis.  I sometimes think that just because a given problem is identified in one place, everyone likes to think it applies everywhere.  To take an extreme example, who would suggest that a 16-story high rise apartment building is appropriate to locate in the middle of a single story neighborhood as the “zoning is everything” argument implies.  No doubt it would appeal to greedy out of town developers, but not even the most ardent YIMBY would support such a thing.  Everyone wants to live in housing that has a sense of scale with its surroundings and is inviting and pleasant.  So the zoning argument is just the latest distraction from the real problem…financial resources.  I’m not totally discounting the idea of size or height limitations, but those are much easier to resolve than cost and price.

    The fundamental problem we are facing here in Davis and across most of California is the cost of new housing which is tied to private sector profitability.  If a 16-story apartment/condo development were to be proposed and it would provide affordable rents or purchase for those in the lower half of income, I would certainly be in favor of getting it built somewhere in our town.  The more difficult issue is how do we build housing for people that they can afford to live in whether it is single story or multiple story.  It comes back around to the financial underpinning of housing.  Affordability and profitability have become totally incompatible in the housing market.   Zoning can be changed a whole lot easier than finding the money to make it affordable.  Building affordable housing is going to require a massive infusion of public money.  No way around it.  When we wake up to that fact, then we can debate how much of that money we are willing to divert into the pockets of private investors versus public authority.

    1. Craig Ross

      “The fundamental problem we are facing here in Davis and across most of California is the cost of new housing which is tied to private sector profitability.”

      How would you suggest de-coupling it?

    2. Richard McCann

      The requirements of Measure J/R, which increases the costs for developers–both in cash outlays and capital risk, can be interpreted as a “zoning restriction” that falls into this category. These affect peripheral projects that are not out of scale with the neighboring (but not surrounding) housing. Those project failures have discouraged other developers from approaching this area with proposals due to the risk and barrier to entry.

    3. Ron Glick

      The problem with this analysis is the 16 story building example. Cut it in half and there is a conversation to be had.

      About thirty years ago I heard Joseph Cambell say in an interview with Bill Moyers that whoever has the tallest building runs the town. It is a universal truth that probably goes back to when our ancestors lived in trees and the dominant hominid got the tallest tree. When I was in Solo Java I was told nothing can be built taller than the sultan’s kroton. In Washington D.C. nothing can be taller than the Washington Monument, in Las Vegas its the casinos, in Sacramento its real estate interests, State Government, the Federal Government and the State Pension Funds, in San Francisco it used to be banking and insurance but now its tech.

      For a long time in Davis administrative buildings on campus have been tallest but now those heights are being  challenged by real estate interests off campus. Davis Live will be around the same height as Sproul Hall. It should be noted that Dinerstein wanted to go taller at Sterling but the CC instinctively said no.

      As the community has continued to grow while the city has resisted that same growth the demand for land has caused prices in the city to skyrocket leading to denser housing where the economics dictate going up and going big.  I imagine that if we continue on the current path of “infill over all” it will only be a matter of time before the demand for housing will so outstrip the supply that the real estate barrons, both local and national, that already are the richest among us take their rightful place at the head of our societal pecking order. Eventually I forsee the resistance to the idea that the University should dominate the landscape with the largest edifice breaking down and the community acquiescing to the economic reality that through densification we are becoming an evermore feudal community, stratified by real estate holdings, where the tallest buildings remind us daily of who the richest and most powerful people in our community really are.

  3. Alan Miller

    Both sides?  This issue splits both parties and left/right ideologies, making strange bedfellows both those who want to restrict local zoning and those that don’t.  It’s not like everyone is becoming a YIMBY on both sides and both parties, it’s just not the same split.  YIMBYs will become NIMBYs once they have theirs — it’s just human nay-ture.

  4. Rik Keller

    David Greenwald: you have misunderstood things to try to show some sort of “agreement “ In reality, the right wants to get rid of regulations while the left want to regulate things further by banning  single family zoning. See these for example:

    https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-minneapolis-single-family-zoning-20181219-story.html

    https://www.wweek.com/news/state/2018/12/14/could-oregon-become-the-first-state-to-ban-single-family-zoning/

    If you are actually grabbing the “third rail” of local politics and proposing a single family zoning ban, good luck!

     

  5. Dave Hart

     
    Ron Glick, my purpose for using the 16-story example was certainly not a serious proposal.  I was attempting to demonstrate how none has any trouble being on the same page regarding development when the issues are clear regardless of the zoning.  If a law were passed to allow zoning for 16-story buildings in any single story neighborhood here in our fair little town, we would be quite justified in reaching for our pitchforks and torches.  It’s not the zoning that matters, it’s the 16-story building, or rather, it’s the sudden transition that is out of scale. 

    The Trackside proposal illustrates it very well.  If a 3-story building had been planned from the beginning, nobody save the three or four parcels along the alley would have been so outraged.  But with a six-floor proposal, the anger centered in the immediate neighborhood resonated throughout Davis because it was clearly out of scale lying a scant forty or fifty feet from single story backyard fences.  Predictably, sympathy with those homeowners decreased with the decreasing height.  We all empathized when the proposal was too tall.  Ultimately, the public looked at the current use of the parcel, its location sandwiched in between an unattractive alley and an even uglier rail right of way and decided a four-story building was a reasonable, even desirable, use of the site.  Zoning, per se, was not a major concern.  

    Of course, it must be remembered that the six-floor configuration was most profitable and that is why it was proposed.  I am assuming that it was more profitable and that informs us non-experts that higher density is one way to get more people into affordable housing per dollar expended. 

    Craig Ross asked how I propose that we as a society de-couple profit from a human need like housing.  Well, that is simple and very tough at the same time.  Tough politically because we have no leadership vision. Simple because we could subsidize construction with federal government dollars to bring the cost down.  Maybe housing gets built with federal money and is sold to private, owner occupants at low interest rates.  How is that any different from building highways?  I don’t see any other way for it to happen.  We have a crisis and increasing income inequality continues to sequester more and more wealth away from those who work and should otherwise be able to afford to own or at least rent housing at an affordable rate.
     

    1. Alan Miller

      What a crock, DH.

      If a 3-story building had been planned from the beginning, nobody save the three or four parcels along the alley would have been so outraged.

      Our neighborhood protects our agreements with the City.  A three story building with the setbacks as stated in the Design Guidelines would not have evoked ‘outrage’ from anyone, while the entire neighborhood would have worked on impact mitigation.  Those who bought next to Trackside knew that a 2-3 story building was possible for Trackside.

      But with a six-floor proposal, the anger centered in the immediate neighborhood resonated throughout Davis because it was clearly out of scale lying a scant forty or fifty feet from single story backyard fences.

      It was out of scale, as is four stories.  The six story was a straw man from Day 1, to get a four story.  See Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” for the logic behind this.

      Predictably, sympathy with those homeowners decreased with the decreasing height.

      People should be concerned with deceitful developers (I didn’t say all — not all are) and broken agreements between City and citizen — sympathy is not a factor here.  There was also no decreasing height — see straw man above.

      We all empathized when the proposal was too tall.

      Define “we all”.  It’s too tall, always was, still is.  Empathy:  see sympathy.

      Ultimately, the public looked at the current use of the parcel, its location sandwiched in between an unattractive alley and an even uglier rail right of way and decided a four-story building was a reasonable, even desirable, use of the site.

      The neighborhood agreed that a three-story building was a reasonable, even desirable, use of the site.  The City Council, not citizens, decided to break the agreement.  Stop calling them ugly — the alley and railroad are beautiful.

      1. Dave Hart

        It may seem like a crock from your vantage point, Alan, but from the outside (of the immediate neighborhood) four stories doesn’t seem unreasonable regardless of whatever deal making was or was not taking place.  Trying to make more of a profit, probably, but lying?  I’d have to see some evidence.  Most people (as in majority as defined by more than 50%) supported the council’s approval as hard as that may be for some to accept.

        And for the record, Donald Trump didn’t write that book nor has he ever actually read it (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all).  

        While it’s not clear to me that the developers were lying, it is clear that as long as we hope and pray that private sector investors will somehow be able to supply affordable housing to the masses regardless of how many concessions we make to them, we are p***ing against the wind. Zoning, like budgeting, is a guide and a statement of values; it is not the real problem.

        1. Alan Miller

          from the outside (of the immediate neighborhood) four stories doesn’t seem unreasonable regardless of whatever deal making was or was not taking place.

          Well, that’s really sweet that those not affected don’t care to understand, if your statement is even true — as there are plenty who do.  “Whatever deal” is the Design Guidelines — still in effect.

          Let me ask you — let’s say you live in a one story house.  Your neighborhood is zoned for one and two stories.  You have a garden that gets sun, that’s your hobby.  Your neighbor has a lot of influence and supports politicians in town, and gets an exemption and builds a three story house next to you, and your garden no longer gets enough sun to support a garden. Your solar panel is now in the shade three hours a day.  Is that exemption reasonable?

          THAT is the difference between the three stories with setback that the neighborhood was promised, and the Trackside four story that was BEYOND — the same difference as the three story in the one/two suburb.

          But your elite-er Davis suburbs never get the homeless shelters, or noise from downtown, or large-building encroachment, do they?  You’ll not find Paul’s Place or a winter shelter or homeless services around Lake Alhambra Estates, or El Macero, or North Davis Farms, or Wildhorse.   You never will, they are untouchable.

          No folks, especially you arseholes who try to paint the original neighborhoods as the Davis elite — no you folks in your true “don’t touch us with the real world” neighborhoods will never have any homeless services in your neighborhoods, nor drunk students parading through after the bars close, nor even a dirty student apartment building.

          WE have no trouble accommodating a three-story Trackside as per guidelines.  We are one of the densest neighborhoods in Davis already (see the apartments).  We worked out an MOU with the developers of Lincoln40 (a much bigger impact on me personally than Trackside), because they were straight with us — and we didn’t ask for any size reduction because they worked out a mitigation plan with us.

          I’ll say it again:  The Trackside Developers LIED to us.  I have a line of witnesses to back up that statement.  Their rep came around and told different neighborhood households different stories.

          Most people (as in majority as defined by more than 50%) supported the council’s approval as hard as that may be for some to accept.

          There was a city vote on a non-Measure R project?  I don’t see how you support that statement.  And even if so, we don’t do building approval by majority vote.  See “whose ox is being gored”.

          And for the record, Donald Trump didn’t write that book nor has he ever actually read it

          I don’t care who wrote it. That’s deflecting the issue as it’s not the point — there are plenty of other books on deal making with similar tactics — and you know what my point was.

          There will always be untouchable neighborhoods.  Social justice?  WE are doing our part — good luck touching the real elite.  I dare you to even try.

        2. Richard McCann

          Alan

          Your scattershot is too wide and it undermines the validity of the rest of your post. There won’t be homeless shelters out in those outlying neighborhoods because the shelters would be highly inconvenient to the homeless population. That populations congregates where where is significant foot traffic to commercial establishments. It has little to do with the privileges of those neighborhoods.

          That said, it is possible that a village of “tiny houses” could be built near those neighborhoods, but that’s part of a larger discussion and we haven’t seen a sufficiently concrete proposal to see how it would fair. (And you can’t just tritely dismiss the possibility of it being successfully sited there.)

          Now you might have a different point with the College Park neighborhood, but I’m not aware of an open lot or available buildings near there for this purpose.

        3. Dave Hart

          Let me ask you — let’s say you live in a one story house.  Your neighborhood is zoned for one and two stories.  You have a garden that gets sun, that’s your hobby.  Your neighbor has a lot of influence and supports politicians in town, and gets an exemption and builds a three story house next to you, and your garden no longer gets enough sun to support a garden. Your solar panel is now in the shade three hours a day.  Is that exemption reasonable?

          Alan, I guess you asked the wrong guy…my neighbors have planted trees that are higher than a three story building less than 10 feet from my fence to the south and west.  They shade my backyard and my solar panels more than I’d like.  Our gardening choices have consequently changed due to this.  One side benefit is that I have more time to converse with people on the Davis Vanguard.  Legally, I can pursue a remedy, but I’m not that kind of neighbor.  The Trackside neighbors may come to appreciate the shade those buildings provide in late summer afternoons.   I say that sincerely, not to make you mad and I’m not lying.

  6. Matt Williams

    I received an e-mail observation this evening that is worth sharing in relationship to this article.

    On today’s subject of What Does Left & Right Agree On?  I would offer the simple observation that there are four principal drivers:

    1) Babyboom Echo coming of age – combined with the longer lives of the Boomer generation (who still need places to live).
    2) Expansionary Monetary Policies such as quantitative easing resulting in historically low mortgage rates and liberalized lending terms
    3) Unprecedented rise in both the costs of municipal government and the stringency of regulations, which together have dramatically driven up both permitting/entitlement costs and construction costs
    4) Continued migration to urban centers for employment opportunities, resulting in increasing scarcity of proximate land combined with overall population growth.

    It is a very tall order to fix all that, but for communities with the option – one response is to work on increasing the number of proximate, local, well-paying jobs which better match the increased costs of housing.

    But gee, just like the lack of discussion on immigration reform, we really wouldn’t want to talk about a possible solution.

    1. Dave Hart

      Number 1:  I don’t see how people living in existing housing and living longer is driving housing costs higher.  It has little or nothing to do with getting affordable housing built.

      Number 2:  Quantitative easing put $trillions back into the economy and along with lower interest rates from the FED pulled the U.S. economy out of its nosedive.  That was good for housing starts and would have provided much more housing if it had been used to simply pay off mortgages.  Instead most of it ended up in the hands of the people who tanked the economy in the first place.  Good policy badly managed or even managed well for the wrong reasons.

      Number 3:  It doesn’t cost more to do things right in the long run.  Onerous “government overreach” is a red herring unless regulations are purposefully implemented and enforced for illegal or immoral reasons…not the case here in Tiny Town. Common where it’s used to keep black and brown people away from the fairways.

      Number 4:  Yes, urban areas are attracting more workers because that is where the jobs are and often where better paid workers want to live.  Who wants to live in Kansas these days.  I say that as a person who grew up in Kansas and have fond memories…but I wouldn’t want to live there now…even though equivalent housing can be had for a quarter of the price.

      None of these points answers the problem of how to provide affordable housing or demonstrates insurmountable obstacles.  I think we’re having a good discussion. Who cares what an anonymous email correspondent has to say anyway?

      1. Matt Williams

        Dave Hart said . . .  I don’t see how people living in existing housing and living longer is driving housing costs higher.  It has little or nothing to do with getting affordable housing built.

        Dave, my personal response to your observation is that both those factors affect the housing supply/demand curve.  Supply is unchanged but demand is increased when people don’t die when they are actuarially projected to die.  Greater demand with constant supply produces an upward pressure on prices.

        I partially agree with your second point.  Those factors did in fact result in more housing starts.  So housing supply did in fact increase.  Those factors also increased housing demand.  I’m not sure whether professional economists would say that demand went up more or supply went up more.

        I’m not sure how your third point relates to the four points of the e-mail.  Can you help me out of my confusion?

        I agree with your final paragraph … and for the record the e-mail correspondent is not unknown/anonymous to me.  Over the years I have received numerous e-mails from that source and often shared the content of those e-mails with Vanguard readers.

      2. Richard McCann

        Dave Hart

        I think the author does offer a solution. I might have framed the driving principles differently, but mostly they are the right direction, and you echoed point 4, which is the true source of higher housing prices so long as the supply of housing is constrained. At the core of whether housing is “affordable” is the relationship of housing prices to household income. A house that was “expensive” in 1950 is now “affordable”on a pricing basis because income in general has risen dramatically over the last 70 years. It’s the primary driver behind the increase in home ownership over that period. So the proposed solution of increasing well-paid jobs that increase the affordability basis.

        But that is only part of the solution because rising incomes will lead to rising demand which will lead to rising prices. The question that I haven’t seen answered yet is how elastic is housing prices relative to income changes. (There might be studies in the urban planning / real estate finance literature.)  The answer to mitigate this effect is to increase housing supply. That’s where this article shows that parties across the political spectrum agree that this is at least part of the solution. There no single “silver bullet” to solving the problem (which is rarely the case).

      3. Dave Hart

        Matt, I don’t think you mean to imply that the housing crisis can be pinned on us geezers who refuse to die on schedule.  And, back in the day when there was no housing crisis, I never lived in a house vacated by a dead senior citizen.  Sorry, you haven’t convinced me on Number 1 from your email friend.  Certainly, geezers are not prohibiting the construction of affordable housing.

        Number 2: you missed the point.  If QE had been done right, there would have been a lot more housing created because all those people who lost their homes would not have been forced into the rental markets, big corporations would not have been able to swoop in and buy up the foreclosures and turn them into higher priced rentals and a lot more people would have been able to enter the housing market as buyers for new construction which stalled for years afterward.

        1. Matt Williams

          “Pinned on” … no.  One of the factors that have pushed Housing Demand up much more than Housing Supply has been pushed up … absolutely.

          Seniors tend to age in place, making the “inventory turn” associated with the housing serving their demographic segment considerably slower than other demographic segments.  Talk to any sit-down restaurant owner about the impact of slow inventory turn (table turn in their parlance) on their business.

          Regarding Number 2 and the concept of “doing OE right” … how does one actually do OE right?  Are you saying that less money should have been put into job creation and more money into housing starts?  If that is what you are saying, I don’t know how you do that.  Help me better understand the point you are making.

    2. John Hobbs

      Matt, lacking any identity of the alleged e-mail sender, I think this violates the spirit if not the letter of the new commenting policy. [edited] . Perhaps you could illuminate us as to the source.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        There is a difference. For instance, if a reporter uses an anonymous source – the reporter is assessing the credibility of the message and basically asking the reader to trust their judgment. Where reporters get themselves in trouble is when they rely on such sources and it turns out to be inaccurate. However, that reporter is held accountable for that judgment. That’s basically the same thing here – Matt puts his credibility on the line and takes the risk by passing on the message. That’s different from an anonymous commenter who directly posts here and it is also different from the concerns that led to us changing the policy.

        1. John Hobbs

          How do we know that the alleged e-mail is not from one of the former anonymous posters, being let in through a back door? (I believe this to be quite likely.)

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            We only know what Matt has represented to us. I think you have to remember what the point of the policy change is – it’s about cleaning up some of the negativity and providing accountability – that can be provided through a filter here, in this case Matt Williams. I would suggest if you have concerns to send a letter to the editorial board and we can take it up in February.

      2. Matt Williams

        John, I could have, and considered, posted the point as my own original thought.  My training tells me that to do that would not have been honest.  So I chose the method I did.  Regardless of which method I used, any reader of the Vanguard has the ability and access to directly know who is the responsible party submitting the thoughts and opinions presented … that responsible party is me (or if you prefer to use my screen name, Matt Williams).  Accountability is 100%

        As the Chair of the Finance and Budget Commission I regularly receive e-mail communications from citizens, and pass the substance of those communications on to staff and my fellow Commissioners.  Sometimes the communication is forwarded whole cloth.  Other times it is passed on in summary form.  For example, the current Long Range Calendar of the FBC that we will be discussing at our next meeting has quite a few “unscheduled” requests/communications from citizens (I have listed them below).  They are in summary form.  can you imagine how long and cumbersome that list would have been if the individual components weren’t summarized?  My fellow Commissioners know that I am accountable for answering questions about the summary items in the list.  Accountability is 100%.

         
        ·       Council Goals Check-In
         
        ·       Cost Containment should be the constant focus of the commission.
         
        ·       Benchmark Davis’ Costs of Service — against comparative standards (both past performance and other cities)
         
        ·       Davis Sales Tax Forecast — Joint Presentation by MuniServices and Staff
         
        o   Investigate if the City is getting all the sales tax from all stores. Many “take out” places are not charging sales tax on take-out food.  Are non-veggies vendors at the Farmers Market charging sales tax?
         
        o   Everyone hates to pay taxes so no one wants to task these pesky questions….that what FBC is needed.
         
        o   Explore possibilities of extending Measure O 1% Sales Tax increment to the UCD campus.
         
        ·       Fiscal Impact of Parking Plan presented to DPAC by parking consultant, including an evaluation of the potential loss of sales tax revenue from the impacts on the retail down town of the parking meters.
         
        ·       Employee MOU fiscal impact reporting standards
         
        ·       Addition of Cash Flow Schedules to Annual and Quarterly Reporting — “Without such schedules, everything is anecdotal, which is of course a well-trodden path to surprises, typically unpleasant ones.”
         
        ·       UCD impact assessment
         
        ·       Fiscal analysis of how much the mega-dorms will be costing the City.  We soon will have over 5,500 new/incremental student specific beds in the City, meanwhile our workforce and families being pushed out of Davis?
         
        ·       Presentation Standards — “Run the meetings so that we can focus on the discussion of the content … assume that all in attendance have read the staff report material.  You will get through a lot more, and enable more time for clarifications and discussion.”
         
        ·       Transparency —
         
        o   The issue of discrepant financial claims by the “pro” and “con” sides in recent development campaigns needs to be addressed. 
         
        o   The FBC should agree to submit both a “majority” and “minority” report when there is clear disagreement on the Commission, in order to ensure that the Council and Davis citizens are informed as fully, and fairly, as possible.
         
        o   The Excel file of the Leland Model should be made available for all to access on the City website.
         
        ·       Cannabis Economy Banking — Study and ideally make a statement in support of organizing support for a feasibility study for a Sacramento Regional Public Bank and support for a state public bank.  Currently cannabis income cannot be deposited in a federally-chartered bank.
         
        ·       Utility Reserve Funds — The URAC’s subcommittee is still working on this issue (we just received the last of the requested data).  Once the URAC brings this issue forward again on its agenda, I am sure we would like the FBC to join us in this endeavor.
         

         

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