2013 November FIRE Policy News

Issue Date: 
November, 2013
Newspaper PDF: 

The November issue of FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) Policy News reports the California legislature approved two bills offering relief from retroactive taxation of capital gains taxes. After the issue went to print, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure giving full relief to approximately 2,500 small business investors, meaning they really, truly won’t have to pay $120 million in taxes they were told they would never have to pay in exchange for participating in an incentive program.

Also in this issue:

  • The use of credit scores for insurance purposes has fueled controversy for years in Michigan, where a state representative now is trying to protect consumers who don’t have a credit rating at all from losing out on auto insurance discounts.
  • What do you do with a convention center that has lower attendance today than when it received a $116 million expansion 10 years ago? Why, spend tens of millions of dollars for more expansion, of course. That’s what backers of the Oregon Convention Center Hotel want to do. It’s one of many convention center projects skeptics say cost more than the benefits they supposedly bring are worth.
  • Capital markets and the financial industry are threatened by two proposed tax bills--one addressing carried interest taxation as it relates to investment managers, and the other a proposed tax on financial transactions. In this first of a two-part series, we examine the carried interest taxation issue.
  • The San Francisco area’s recently adopted Plan Bay Area may set a new standard for urban planning excess. Plan Bay Area, which covers nearly all of the San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, and Napa metropolitan areas, was adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments. The plan would require more than three-quarters of new residences and one-third of net additional employment to be located in confined “priority development areas,” referred to “pack and stack” by critics.
  • Nearly all recoveries following severe U.S. recessions have featured robust economic growth that rapidly restored real income, output, and employment to their pre-recession trends. This recovery has not done that. Income, production, and jobs not only have failed to recover, but have continued to deteriorate. Since late 2007, the U.S. economy has lost about four years of growth and is more than 10 million jobs below normal.
  • In 2010 the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4–3 that insurance companies could use credit scores when underwriting insurance policies. Now one Democratic state representative is trying to protect consumers who don’t have a credit rating from losing out on discounts for their auto insurance. State Rep. Theresa Abed has introduced House Bill 4888, which would prohibit insurance companies from using the absence of a credit score or the inability to calculate a credit score when determining a policyholder’s premium.

Newspaper Articles in this Issue