Assemblyman Brian Dahle, our 1st District Representative seems to grasp the challenge facing economic developers in Nevada County. He writes in a Union Editorial:
California has among the nation’s highest business taxes, the most strict and complex environmental protections and labor laws that don’t just protect workers’ rights but create a constant threat of capricious litigation against employers. Real estate prices are high and that partly reflects the demand created by beautiful scenery and ideal weather, but it’s also painfully expensive and time-consuming to develop property or build anything, artificially inflating costs.
Thanks not least to environmental mandates, we also have electricity rates higher than any other state outside of New England. California’s industrial power rates are fully two-thirds higher than those in Texas. Where would you build an energy-intensive factory?
Clean power is a wonderful thing, but affordable clean power is the goal California needs to pursue, and it’s achievable.
A healthy environment is good for everyone, but California has created mazes of procedures so time-consuming and legalistic that sensible business owners in fast-moving, competitive fields have little choice but to look outside the state to build a factory. Would you gamble your company’s future on the outcome of an environmental group’s lawsuit?
This is the head wind that the ERC faces as it attempts to re-vitalize the local economy and have Nevada County be “recognized as one of the most economically competitive rural counties in the U.S. by 2019.” Not likely in the world we live in today, with the liberal political elites in Sacramento strangling rural economies with feel good legislation.