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Tweet City Heights: Fast-Filling Jails and a Tax-Initiative Smorgasbord

By Megan Burks

State Could Miss Realignment Deadline Despite Fast-Filling County Jails
KPBS reported this week county jails are filling up faster than expected under AB 109 and could reach capacity by October. A planned jail expansion won’t be completed for another two years, so the Sheriff hopes to rely on alternative custody programs such as ankle bracelets.

The state began sending its low-level offenders to county jails instead of state prisons last year to comply with a court order to reduce prison overcrowding.

Despite the expected overflow here in San Diego, a study out this week says the state will miss its 2013 deadline to reduce its prison population by 30,000 inmates. According to HealthyCal.org, the state will continue to be short on beds for high-level felons.

Learn more about the AB 109 prisoner realignment here.

Follow KPBS @KPBS and HealthyCal.org @HealthyCal.

Coping With Redevelopment’s Death
Councilman Todd Gloria shared an article with his Twitter followers on alternatives to redevelopment. In the article, William Fulton, former Ventura mayor and fellow at the new USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, outlines ways the state and cities can free up cash for continued urban renewal.

The state squashed redevelopment agencies Feb. 1 in an effort to shore up its general fund. Redevelopment agencies used property tax revenue that would have otherwise gone to the state to pay for education and social services.

Fulton says existing state funds that encourage vertical development (creating denser neighborhoods in the city’s core) and transit-oriented development could help communities keep pace without redevelopment dollars.

Cities could consider raising sales taxes to fund further development. They could also make projects more appealing to private developers by selling off public land on the cheap and streamlining community and environmental reviews.

Follow The Sacramento Bee @sacbee_news.

Sizing Up Three Proposals to Raise Taxes
The Sacramento Bee has a handy guide to three tax initiatives currently seeking signatures to get on the November ballot. The initiatives come after Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget called for austere cuts to education if taxpayers don’t come up with extra money. The budget also called for deep welfare cuts.

‘Millionaires tax’
How much: Ultimately raises $4 billion to $6 billion a year – a little more than half of that for schools. The rest would go to counties for seniors, children, disabled public health services, road maintenance and public safety.
How: Raises tax rates by three percentage points for income between $1 million and $2 million; by five percentage points for income above $2 million.
Duration: Permanent

‘Our Children, Our Future’
How much: Provides the most money for education and early childhood programs, ultimately raising $10 billion to $11 billion a year. In first four years, provides up to $3 billion to help reduce the state deficit. No direct funding for higher education.
How: Raises rates for income taxpayers starting at $7,316 in taxable income for a single filer.Duration: Through 2024

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal
How much: Ultimately raises $5.5 billion to $6.9 billion annually, with 40 percent to 50 percent going to K-12 schools and community colleges. Would eliminate nearly $2 billion a year for schools by shifting sales taxes to counties.
How: Raises tax rates on income starting at $250,000 for single filers and $500,000 for joint filers. Increases sales tax by half a percentage point.
Duration: Through 2016


Recent polls suggest voters are ready to increase taxes to better fund schools. According to the latest, 63 percent surveyed support raising taxes for millionaires and 58 percent support the governor’s mix of increased sales and income taxes.

Click here to learn more about the proposals.

Follow The Sacramento Bee’s Kevin Yamamura @kyamamura.


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