|July - A Patriotic Time to Ponder|
|Monday, 18 July 2011 10:46|
Well, it’s July, the typical middle of the construction season up here and I’m curious about how much work everyone is involved with. Work seems to start and as quickly hiccups and ends. Hit or miss seems to be what 2011 is all about, with the impending cost of all the CARB regulations before us – it all better be hit.
Our Broker bill has been the hot topic with a lot of interest focused on getting some of those wayward brokers in compliance. Continue to call me and let me know about anyone in your area that needs a little nudge on getting the hint on the new broker law we are working to have the compliance information available on our website (cdtoa.org). It will be open to all interested parties, both members and non-members. Just go to the CDTOA website main page, than go to the broker flash and hit the middle button. If you’re not listed here, you’re probably not aware of the requirements or you’re hiding it. If the latter, we may be calling on you. We have been working with Dan Bertrand who has emailed all the bond holders asking them to release the information to us so that we can post it. We are also adding some new functionality to the CDTOA database to make it easier to update this list. We hope to eventually manage the bond compliance information for the entire broker community.
The Summer Board meeting in Oakland was well attended, informative and we all had a good time. We need to thank all the CDTOA/AADT staff who worked so hard to put on our well organized and efficient Board meetings.
To all who attended, thank you. With great affiliates like Dan Bertrand from Armstrong Insurance and Stewart Holt representing State Fund, we had a great time and were well informed on new and upcoming issues. I want to give a special thanks to our legal counsel and lobbyists, Brooks, Pat and Kirk for their hard work on the CDTOA v. CARB issue. On July 5th we formally filed for injunctive relief with the federal court which included all of declarations concerning CARB rules effects on our members’ businesses price, routes and services.
We also had a guest speaker from CARB who did a nice job at educating our membership on the low mileage exemption for construction trucks as part of the on-road truck and bus diesel engine regulation. Construction trucks operating less than 15,000 miles will be eligible for a two year exemption while dump trucks as defined operating under 20,000 miles a year will receive the same exemptions.
The credit for this exemption goes to CDTOA’s own Betty Plowman, our resident environmental regulation expert and membership director who has worked so hard to get this for us. Between Betty’s lobbying, some CARB board members and the membership testifying before the board and media, all have done a great job to help make these regulations less burdensome on our industry.
Melanie and I enjoyed seeing all of you. What a great dinner at the Japanese Sushi place.
Thanks to all of you who accepted nominations for state office in the upcoming elections, I feel the Association is on the right track and I’m hopeful that when this recession becomes history we will be even stronger.
I also want to thank Greg Wallace for his work with the membership and wish him well as the full-time sales representative for Superior Trailer and his other endeavors. The CDTOA and AADT Boards have determined that we need a full-time Southern Membership Services Director just like Betty. Lee was instructed to begin looking for a full time southern representative in July or as soon as reasonably possible. At the direction of the Executive Committee, we are looking to expand our membership and AADT client sales with a bi-lingual candidate in the Southern California area.
We have come a long way together and with the help of all of us working towards a better tomorrow, we will succeed.
Low Inflation - Been to the Store Lately? And What about that State Budget?
So, have you seen the prices for food – sure there’s no inflation. The government does not count fuel or food in their “core” inflation calculator, how convenient. Fortunately, at least here on July 1st, the statewide sales tax rate dropped by one percentage point – a full cent on the dollar – and the annual vehicle license tax/fee charge that drivers pay dropped to where it should have been in 2009 – by 43%.
The expiring tax increases, which were placed on the books in 2009 as California teetered toward democratic planned spending caused insolvency, should provide significant savings for some people who can afford to buy big ticket items. On average, a family of four will save more than $1,000 a year when income tax hikes that expired in January are factored in, according to Republican lawmakers.
The state sales tax reverts to 7.25%, though many municipalities add their own levies, some as much as 3%.
Vehicle purchasers will see a double windfall, a new car buyer who picks up a $35,000 SUV after July 1, for instance, will pay $350 less in sales tax. And the smaller yearly vehicle fee, dropping from 1.15% of a car’s value to 0.65% – on the new vehicle will save the owner $178.
Of course the budget the governor recently signed also raises vehicle registration fees by $12.
The DMV will also implement another separate tax (the democratic legislators pushed for a fee on all motor carriers in the San Joaquin Valley) on September 10, 2011. Effective with registration fees due on or after September 10, 2011, the current air quality fee will increase by $12 (from $7 to $19) for all motor vehicles, including Commercial Vehicle Registration Act (CVRA), non-CVRA, permanent fleet registration (PFR), horseless carriage, and historical vehicles registered with addresses within the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD), in all eight counties.
Key Budget Provisions: Taxes and fees
Additional spending cuts:
Anti-tax advocates led by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said they plan to challenge the Legislature’s ability to impose fees without the two-thirds vote required for tax increases. “We have completed our legal review and we have concluded it is challengeable,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “We’re talking to potential plaintiffs who are going to be assessed this fee.” Coupal said the rural fire fighting fee violates not only the two-thirds legislative vote threshold for tax increases, but also steps on local government jurisdiction. Coupal said the state can authorize local governments to impose tax increases, but the state may not impose a tax for local purposes. “Fire protection is a quintessential local government function,” Coupal added.
Clearly “Kucarachas” Prove Poverty and Unemployment are Much Worse than Diesel PM When it Comes to Childhood Asthma
Not to be out of my form explaining the deceit behind diesel emissions health effects, I read an interesting story in late May that caught my eye. Apparently, a new study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health concluded that higher exposure to cockroach or “cucarachas” excrement (dust) may explain why some New York City children have asthma while others, who grow up just blocks away, do not.
The researchers collected dust – containing cockroach, mouse and cat allergens – from the upper half of the beds of 239 children, 7 or 8 years old, all from middle-income families in households widely scattered across the city, though not in the most affluent areas.
Other studies have shown a link between cockroach exposure and asthma. But the Columbia study, published online in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, is the first to show that children in high-asthma neighborhoods have been more exposed to cockroaches than those in adjacent low-asthma neighborhoods, Matthew Perzanowski, senior author of the study.
What, no diesel PM at the root of all of this – how can this be?
The study may help explain, he said, why the prevalence of asthma among children entering school varies greatly by neighborhood, from 3% in Flushing, Queens (a rich area with 8.4% unemployment), to almost 19%, in East Harlem (a very poor area with 13.6% unemployment).
Rob McClernon - CDTOA President