Thursday Must Read: State Dems Gut Redevelopment; They Also Vote to Force Amazon.com to Charge Sales Tax

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Democratic legislators voted yesterday to gut redevelopment agencies throughout California in a move that likely will prompt cities to sue the state if Governor Brown signs the bill into law. According to the Mercury News, the legislature’s vote on redevelopment was part of the budget package approved by Democratic lawmakers without Republican support. The bill calls for forcing redevelopment agencies statewide to pay a total of $1.7 billion beginning July 1 to schools, fire protection districts, and transit districts. If the bill is upheld, it could force many redevelopment agencies to shut down, or at least require them to forgo major construction projects.

2. State Democrats, meanwhile, also voted to force Amazon.com and Overstock.com to begin collecting sales taxes on purchases made by Californians, the Merc reports. The bill, if signed by Brown, is expected to generate $200 million in annual tax revenues in the state. It also promises to be a boost for brick-and-mortar retailers who are at a disadvantage because they collect sales taxes from customers. However, both Amazon.com and Overstock.com have threatened to stop doing business in California if the bill becomes law.

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