Public Thugs Mug Facebook – Could Kill Jobs?

Russ Steele

I often read the Coyote Blog, Dispatches from a Small Business. Here is some interesting insight as to why job creation in CA is static.

Wow, I Wonder Why Job Creation Isn’t Occurring in California?

I wonder if its because companies have to beg for government permission, and then pay a hefty bribe, to get permission to hire more employees:

The city council in Menlo Park, Calif., is set to approve a deal that will let Facebook employ thousands more people at its headquarters there.

Mayor Kirsten Keith says officials are expected to green light the environmental impact report and the development agreement at a meeting Tuesday night. City staff has recommended the city approve the deal.

That means Facebook employees, currently numbering about 2,200 in Menlo Park, will soon be able to stretch out. If the deal is approved, Facebook will be able to employ about 6,600 workers in Menlo Park, up from its current limit of 3,600. That was the constraint on Sun Microsystems, which previously occupied the campus.

Facebook will pay Menlo Park an average of $850,000 a year over 10 years to compensate for the additional load on the city. It will also make a one-time payment of more than $1 million for capital improvements and set up community services such as high school internship and job training programs. Facebook is also creating a $500,000 local community fund that will dole out grants and charitable contributions to communities surrounding Facebook’s campus.

Facebook is making the payments because Menlo Park can’t collect sales taxes from Facebook.

The last is a dodge – this is a protection racket, pure and simple.  Presumably Facebook pays property taxes on its corporate offices, as do its employees who live nearby.  Also, these new employees will all spend money in the local economy that will generate sales taxes.  Facebook presumably pays for water, sewer, trash and other utilities, and their employees are paying gas taxes as they drive that pay for the roads.  Facebook pays California income taxes, as do their employees.  What are these mystery costs that are not getting covered?  The community services bit is a hint that this is a stick-up, with Menlo Park demanding its cut of the recent IPO.

The truth is that cities and counties in California see business expansion plans the same way that Tony Soprano looks at the Museum of Science and Trucking — as a way to maximize their skim.  I operate a campground in Ventura County that DOES pay sales taxes the County so far will not let me increase my live-in staff without making a big payment.  Even the remodeling of our store required 7 separate checks written to Ventura County agencies.

You can read the rest HERE. Reason Magazine has another story about killing jobs in Ventura County.

A Double AA Classic

From the Instapundit: Glenn Reynolds

Today, 7:16 PM

BUT THEN WHO WILL WRITE THE STORIES? AP wants to get prostitutes away from its DC bureau.

Another CA Business Escaping

Russ Steele

Just heard the news on Channel 13 KVOR, Verizon is moving its Rancho Cordova Call Center to Utah. The business exodus continues as the regulatory environment  continues to grow in California. Why wait for energy cost to go up, move before the California economic crash!

Wrangling for the AB-32 Cap and Trade Slush Fund

Russ Steele

As I have been reporting, AB-32 Cap and Trade was all about creating a tax payer supported slush fund, now our political leaders are trying to figure out how to take control of the AB-32 pig trough.

Details at KQEDz’ Climate Watch: The New Cap & Trade Battlefront: How to Spend the Revenues

AB 32 requires California’s largest emitters to meet carbon reduction targets. If a firm’s emissions are below state-mandated targets, it may auction off its remaining “allowances” to firms that exceeded their emissions targets.

Since the enactment of AB 32 in 2006, California’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction law, analysts have speculated about how to spend the money generated from the law’s cap-and-trade carbon allowance auctions, the first of which is set for this November.

On Tuesday, the State Assembly passed new legislation, AB 1532, that narrowed the options. The bill, which the California Chamber of Commerce has described as a “job killer” and an “illegal tax,” passed 47-26 and awaits action in the Senate. If ratified, it would establish a “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account” within the state Air Pollution Control Fund and authorize spending auction proceeds on clean energy technology, low-carbon transportation, conservation and green energy research and development.

On Friday, the California Air Resources Board held a public hearing to discuss where auction funds might be spent, as a panel of speakers from across the state and country — representing a broad array of industries and interests — sounded off on where this sizable stream of new funding might be best directed.

Jim Earp, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, said that the funds should be spent on improvement of transit networks and infrastructure. Ellen Hanak, a fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, suggested that a best fit is renewable energy and efficiency projects. Lester Snow, director of the California Water Foundation (and former head of Water Resources for the state), pointed to habitat restoration on the Delta and making California’s vast, energy-intensive water delivery systems more efficient.

The governor’s 2012-13 budget [PDF] also lays out a general framework for where cap-and-trade auction funds might be allocated.

    • Clean and efficient energy
    • Low carbon transportation
    • Natural resources protection
    • Sustainable infrastructure development

“These are obviously broad categories,” said air board chair Mary Nichols of the governor’s proposals in her remarks. “No one has yet suggested any precise breakdown or amounts of money to go to specific programs.”

Decisions are being made piecemeal. For instance, revenues from utilities will be returned to electricity customers, though exactly how is still being worked out.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that no one yet knows how California’s auction funds will be spent. There is still debate over whether the funds should be considered a fee or a tax — a legal determination that, under Proposition 26, could potentially limit where money is directed.

And as Climate Watch senior editor Craig Miller reported earlier this month, no one can predict with any certainty at what price carbon will trade in the California market. Most estimates put the figure at between $15 and $30 per metric ton, which means that when the market is fully up to speed in 2015 it could pull in as much as $6 billion a year. (The governor’s budget stated the program could generate as much as $1 billion in its first year.)

As for how cap-and-trade might state boost the state’s economy, Nichols pointed to a recent analysis of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade system, which includes ten  states in the Northeast. That program has reportedly injected $1.6 billion into the regional economy through such measures as consumer bill reductions and sales of energy efficient equipment.

The period for public comment on carbon auction funds spending (click for online comment form) is open until June 22.

Let them know how you think they should spend the Cap  and Trade Slush Fund

I am shocked, I tell you, shocked

Russ Steele

Well not really, local bloggers  have been reporting for years the budgets coming out of Sacramento are bogus.  Now Katy Grimes writing at Cal Watchdog reports CA debt much larger than reported

“Reports of California’s debt usually just include the $17 billion budget deficit. But California also owes the federal government $14 billion, and public schools $10 billion.

While California sputters under the massive debt, legislators continue to take up ridiculous bills and resolutions, and ignore bills which would begin necessary reforms.”

You can read the whole sad story of inept political leadership HERE. Rather than attempt to solve the budget problems, the Legislature continues to bring forward bills that are strangle the California economy.  The only way out of this mess is to fire up our economy. We have huge fossil fuel deposits on and off shore, and our political leaders insist on promoting higher cost alternative energy, driving business and jobs out of the state to lower cost states and off shore. Time to clean house in Sacramento.

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