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Investigative Reports

San Ramon sued over ‘pension’ tax

April 24th, 2014 By Dave Roberts.   Is it legal for a city to make new residents pay hundreds of dollars extra in property taxes for essentially the same city facilities and services that current residents receive? That question is at the heart of a lawsuit recently filed by the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area against the city of San Ramon. “San Ramon is violating the law by creating a new ...

Sen. DeSaulnier grills high-speed rail CEO on funding

April 15th, 2014 By Kathy Hamilton. Editor's Note: This is Part 2 of a series looking in depth at the latest hearing in the state Senate on California’s high-speed rail blueprint. Part 1 is here. Skepticism took center stage as the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee held hearings on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to use cap-and-trade revenues to fund the project. The committee reviewed the California High-...

Initiative would revive redevelopment agencies

April 14th, 2014 By Dave Roberts.   If it were a movie, it might be called “Revenge of the JEDI: the Redevelopment Empire Strikes Back.” It’s the California Jobs and Education Development Initiative (JEDI), which would enable the revival of the 425 redevelopment agencies eliminated in 2011 by Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature. The initiative liberalizes the definition of “blight” to includ...

Will new community power beat PG&E prices?

April 9th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   Sonoma Clean Power officials and advocates got a charge from recent news that 95 percent of county eligible ratepayers will be switched to their electricity service from Pacific Gas & Electric. The switch was automatic, although ratepayers could opt out of the switch and remain with PG&E. Only 5 percent did opt out. According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: "About 24...
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