California cities, counties would have to report incentives to warehouses and job details under Riverside assemblyman’s bill - Press Enterprise by David Downey

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The logistics industry has anchored the Inland Empire economy in recent years, economists say, accounting for nearly one-fourth of all jobs created since the recession.

But there is sharp debate over whether those warehouse jobs are best for Riverside and San Bernardino counties — and whether city officials should press instead for other businesses that pay higher wages, provide better benefits and pollute less.

As that debate rages, Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, is pushing a bill he hopes will influence future decisions by local government leaders.

Medina’s Assembly Bill 485 would mandate that cities and counties disclose the amount of tax breaks they give to warehouse developers if those exceed $100,000.

The bill also would require local governments - including cities and counties - to disclose specific employment details, including numbers of jobs to be provided, breakdown of full-time and part-time positions, wages, benefits, and forecasts for how long jobs would last before they are lost to automation. Government agencies would have to do annual reports and host public hearings, too.

The idea is to inform residents, Medina said, about “where their tax dollars are going and what they’re getting back in return.”