Over the past 15 years, the state of California has passed key bills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, Assembly Act 32 (AB 32, 2006) sets a statewide greenhouse gas reduction target to return to 1990 emissions levels by 2020.
In addition, in 2008, California adopted SB 375, which specifically addresses emissions from transport. SB 375 guides California’s urban planning organizations to meet the California Air Resources Board’s GHG emission reduction targets through coordinated land-use and transportation planning.
Subsequently, Senate Bill 97 (SB 97, 2009) created guidelines for analyzing greenhouse gas emissions in environmental filings required under the California Environmental Quality Act. Travel Traffic Miles are used as proxies for greenhouse gases. The Bureau of Transport Statistics defines VMT as a unit of measure for the travel of individual vehicles. Each mile traveled is counted as one vehicle mile regardless of the number of people in the vehicle. Vehicle Total Miles is the cumulative total distance traveled by all individual vehicles.
It’s not easy, and what is the relationship to real estate here? I’ve said this before and I think it’s true, almost everything has a direct impact on real estate. Tax increases affect real estate. Rising commodity prices are affecting real estate. California’s Environmental Quality Act affects real estate. School test scores affect real estate. The economic health of a community affects real estate. Homelessness affects real estate. Real estate does not exist in the form of a bubble and is influenced by all of this.
VMT has been the subject of serious debate in San Diego County for over a year. As new areas are proposed, VMT is being viewed as seriously as water reclamation, building density, land degradation and zoning. How will this affect real estate in Fallbrook?
California would like everyone to live close to work. SANDAG is currently proposing a new VMT-based tax that will provide funding for public transport. Currently, only 3% of San Diegan residents use public transportation. SANDAG’s goal is to increase that number to 10%, while 90% of us will continue to use our vehicles for commuting, school, shopping and leisure.
We have Amtrak, Coaster, Sprinter and Metrolink. Just get to one of the transit hubs and use public transport, but the fact is, passenger numbers have decreased rather than increased with all these public transportation options. People need their cars. They need flexibility. They want the freedom to come and go when they need to or like it.
If you live in a rural area, in a city like Fallbrook, you will have to pay dearly to drive wherever you go. This proposed tax will hurt the most basic workers, middle- and low-income people, and service providers. If you are retired, you may not think about it, but think again. Even you will be taxed, so your fixed income will contain one more line item in the debit column. Let’s say you bought an electric car to get rid of greenhouse gases and avoid rising gas prices. You have contributed, but this tax is proposed due to the reduction in the number of gas-powered vehicles. This new tax does not include a reduction in the current state gas tax, but is in addition to this tax. If you drive a gas-powered vehicle, you will be double taxed, firstly to support public transport via VMT, and secondly, to support infrastructure through gas taxes.
How will this affect real estate in Fallbrook? Any new tax reduces a person’s income. Even though the amount you can qualify for a mortgage is tied to your total housing costs, you and I both know that there is not much money in the bank, and when the bank is empty or lower than you are comfortable with, you will tighten. wallet and redefine your priorities.
The proposed new tax will affect the heart and soul of California. It will hurt people with a fixed income. This will hurt our teachers, nurses, and all service providers. It will cost more to deliver everything to our stores, which means higher food prices. Something will have to give.
Either people decide to leave California, or they prefer to spend less on housing. If this happens, stocks will rise and prices will fall. Others may choose to live in a place like Fallbrook, where they can buy a larger house on a larger lot, and work from home and homeschool their children, which will add value to Fallbrook. I think it’s a roll of the dice. At least now you know what the future holds for you.
Kim Murphy can be contacted at [email protected] or 760-415-9292 or 130 N Main Avenue, Fallbrook. Her brokerage license is # 01229921 and she sits on the board of directors of the California Association of Realtors.