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California Self Storage Association

Legislative Initiatives   Legislation & Legal

Favorable Self Storage Legislation is a Top Priority for CSSA

 Although CSSA is known for its well-organized conferences, top-notch speakers, great networking events, and member benefits - one of CSSA's top priorities is helping to represent you in Sacramento. Working to create favorable self storage legislation is a serious undertaking for the association.

Whether the issue is lien laws, taxes on self storage facilities or any other aspect of self storage that has a profound effect on the industry, the CSSA is ready to step up to the plate. With great assistance from the national Self Storage Association (SSA), the CSSA has, over the years, been able to bring about positive results. And with guidance from self storage legal expert Carlos Kaslow, the CSSA is always moving forward to improve life for owner/operators.

The CSSA is the only not-for-profit group on the ground looking out for the interest of the self storage community in the state of California. With that in mind, we are constantly seeking out new ways to bring about positive results and legislative changes for the benefit of our members.

  • Tuesday, September 01, 2020 3:34 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    NOTE: At this time, we do not believe this tenant eviction protection order does not extend to self storage rents. However, this does not preclude the fact that local municipalities (cities and counties) form passing their own ordinances, which may be more restrictive. We encourage you to consult your attorney. 

    ALSO: CSSA bill (AB 3364) to clean up sun-setting language in the self storage lien law has been passed and signed by the governor.

    Office of the Governor


    Contact: Governor's Press Office

    Monday, August 31, 2020

    (916) 445-4571

    Governor Newsom Signs Statewide COVID-19 Tenant and Landlord Protection Legislation

    New law includes targeted protections for tenants to shield them from evictions due to COVID-19-related back rent through February 1, 2021 

    Extends anti-foreclosure protections in the Homeowner Bill of Rights to small landlords

    SACRAMENTO -- Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has signed legislation to protect millions of tenants from eviction and property owners from foreclosure due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. These protections apply to tenants who declare an inability to pay all or part of the rent due to a COVID-related reason.

    “COVID-19 has impacted everyone in California – but some bear much more of the burden than others, especially tenants struggling to stitch together the monthly rent, and they deserve protection from eviction,” said Governor Newsom. “This new law protects tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent and helps keep homeowners out of foreclosure as a result of economic hardship caused by this terrible pandemic. California is stepping up to protect those most at-risk because of COVID-related nonpayment, but it’s just a bridge to a more permanent solution once the federal government finally recognizes its role in stabilizing the housing market. We need a real, federal commitment of significant new funding to assist struggling tenants and homeowners in California and across the nation.”

    On Friday, the Governor, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced an agreement on the legislation, AB 3088, co-authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) and Senators Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and Anna Caballero (D-Salinas).

    Under the legislation, no tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021 as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19 related hardship accrued between March 4 – August 31, 2020, if the tenant provides a declaration of hardship according to the legislation's timelines. For a COVID-19 related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction.

    Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction. Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction is temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts. Landlords who do not follow the court evictions process will face increased penalties under the Act.

    The legislation also extends anti-foreclosure protections in the Homeowner Bill of Rights to small landlords; provides new accountability and transparency provisions to protect small landlord borrowers who request CARES-compliant forbearance; and provides the borrower who is harmed by a material violation with a cause of action.

    Additional legal and financial protections for tenants include:

    ·         Extending the notice period for nonpayment of rent from 3 to 15 days to provide tenant additional time to respond to landlord’s notice to pay rent or quit. 

    ·         Requiring landlords to provide hardship declaration forms in a different language if rental agreement was negotiated in a different language.

    ·         Providing tenants a backstop if they have a good reason for failing to return the hardship declaration within 15 days.

    ·         Requiring landlords to provide tenants a notice detailing their rights under the Act.

    ·         Limiting public disclosure of eviction cases involving nonpayment of rent between March 4, 2020 – January 31, 2021.

    ·         Protecting tenants against being evicted for “just cause” if the landlord is shown to be really evicting the tenant for COVID-19-related nonpayment of rent.

    Existing local ordinances can generally remain in place until they expire and future local action cannot undermine this Act’s framework. Nothing in the legislation affects a local jurisdiction’s ability to adopt an ordinance that requires just cause, provided it does not affect rental payments before January 31, 2021.

    The legislation builds on the state’s strongest-in-the-nation rent cap and eviction protections passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor last year. The Governor also signed major legislation last year to boost housing production, remove barriers to construction of accessory dwelling units and create an ongoing source of funding for borrower relief and legal aid to vulnerable homeowners and renters. Last year’s budget made a historic $1.75 billion investment in new housing and created major incentives – both sticks and carrots – to incentivize cities to approve new home construction. In the first weeks of his administration, Governor Newsom signed an executive order that created an inventory of all excess state land and has launched partnerships with California cities to develop affordable housing on that land. This year, the Governor prioritized $550 million in federal stimulus funding to purchase and rehabilitate thousands of motels around the state for use as permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness and provided an additional $350 million in general fund support to California’s cities and counties for homeless services and housing.

    Local leaders and advocates welcomed the signing of the Act:

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: "No one should lose their home due to this public health crisis -- and while cities like Los Angeles have strong tenant protections in place, there is no substitute for a clear, statewide framework that keeps hard-hit Californians under a roof. With the state legislature's action and Governor Newsom's signature, tenants and landlords can rest easier tonight, but the fight continues for every dollar in federal assistance to help struggling families survive the choppy waters of COVID-19 and navigate the economic destruction left in its wake." 

    Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg: “The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated low-income families across the state and right here in the City of Sacramento. The eviction protections signed into law today will protect some of the most vulnerable – those who have lost income or suffered other unimaginable hardships in these past few months -- from falling into homelessness. I appreciate the work of the Legislature and the Governor to provide this meaningful relief.”

    San Francisco Mayor London Breed: “Protecting people from eviction has been critical from Day One of the COVID crisis, when it became clear that this pandemic was going to threaten our residents and our economies like nothing we have ever seen. People are living in fear of losing their homes because they have lost their jobs, seen their wages cut, or have been forced to close their businesses. I want to thank Governor Newsom for working with our Legislative leaders to pass AB 3088, especially our own Assemblymember David Chiu who has been an early and tireless fighter for tenants on this issue.”

    UC, Berkeley Terner Center Faculty Director Carol Galante: “California is taking a big step forward today to protect the most vulnerable tenants at this moment of acute crisis. As our research has shown, more than one million California renters households have experienced job loss during COVID-19, and this directly impacts their housing security. While today’s new laws are necessary, more must be done – and this means the Congress and the President stepping into their rightful role as provider of a meaningful renter relief package as part of the next stimulus. California deserves credit for acting, and now we must demand the Federal government follow suit.”

    The Governor also announced that he has signed the following bills: 

    ·         AB 2782 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Mobilehome parks: change of use: rent control.

    ·         AB 3364 by the Committee on Judiciary – Judiciary omnibus. 

    Additional information on the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act can be found here. For full text of the bills signed today, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov



  • Tuesday, September 01, 2020 8:13 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    CEA Logo


    On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order to give employees a "payroll holiday" in the form of a 6.2% tax deferral normally paid to Social Security, for September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. On August 28, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gave employers more guidance on this issue, but still left many questions unanswered.

    Who Is Eligible?

    The deferral only affects workers whose biweekly pay is less than $4000, pretax. The deferral is to be implemented on a pay period by pay period basis.


    For now, this is not a forgiveness of the tax owed. Although, President Trump has promised to forgive the tax if reelected, it would require an act of Congress to forgive liability altogether.

    Do Employers Have to Implement the Tax Deferral?

    The IRS guidelines suggest that it is up to the employer – not the employee – to decide whether to implement the tax deferral. It is likely a voluntary decision by the employer, as the IRS guidance does not state that the deferral is mandatory.   

    If employers decide to go ahead and make any deferrals this year, those same amounts must be withheld and paid back starting on January 1, 2021, and ending on April 30, 2021. Again, the guidance issued does not indicate when or if when employers have to begin the deferral.

    What if an Employee Quits and Can’t Pay Back the Deferral?

    The guidance also provides that the employer must "withhold and pay" the deferred taxes next year and, "If necessary...make arrangements to otherwise collect the total Applicable Taxes from the employee." This implies that the employer is probably responsible to pay any deferred amount to the IRS in the event the employee fails to repay it next year. For example, this situation may arise if the employee is no longer employed by the same employer in 2021.

    Given that the IRS guidelines still leave many questions unanswered, employers should consult with their tax specialist regarding deferral.

    Read the IRS guidelines here >>

  • Monday, August 24, 2020 2:48 PM | CSSSA Admin (Administrator)

  • Thursday, August 20, 2020 11:08 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    The Mercury News

    Oakland business tax measure on ballot — in 2022

    Would shift from flat rate

    By ANGELA RUGGIERO | aruggiero@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

    PUBLISHED: July 20, 2020 at 12:37 p.m. | UPDATED: July 21, 2020 at 4:01 a.m.

    OAKLAND — A measure that could overhaul the way businesses are taxed in Oakland will go before voters — but not until 2022.

    The Oakland City Council has agreed to place the business tax measure titled “Lift Up Oakland” on the November 2022 ballot — not the upcoming election this year.

    Currently, businesses all pay the same flat tax rate, no matter how much money they bring in, according to Councilwoman Nikki Fortunato Bas who first brought the measure to the council. The proposal aims to reinvent the ways businesses are taxed, reducing what small businesses pay while holding large corporations accountable for their fair share, she said. Instead of paying a flat rate, the ballot measure calls for a different rate structure based on gross receipts.

    “It’s not fair that one business may be paying the same flat tax rate as another who may have 10 or 20 time the revenue,” said Bas in an interview.

    Bas first proposed the measure for this November’s ballot, but instead pushed it back to the 2022 election. The change was made after some council members suggested changes to the legislation, first introduced by Bas and council members Sheng Thao and Dan Kalb. Bas said she wanted the council to “move forward in a unified fashion” and give the city more time to speak with businesses.

    The council is also expected to approve creating a “Blue Ribbon Task Force” at its meeting Tuesday. The task force would study and recommend potential tax rates to the council. The task force would not meet until January; its members would be appointed by the mayor.

    Earlier, council members who sponsored the legislation said that the tax burden would shift in large part from small businesses to larger ones. The proposal would lower taxes for small businesses such as restaurants, retail and wholesale ones that generate $250,000 or less in revenue per year. In turn, those that make more revenue would be taxed at higher rates.

    If passed, the measure would go into effect in January 2023.

    But the proposal received some criticism from speakers at last week’s council meeting. Aly Bonde, public policy director for the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, said it was clear no one spoke to small businesses about what they need.

    “There are many things the City Council can and should do to help small businesses immediately, but rushing a measure that could threaten every size and sector of business in Oakland is not one of them,” Bonde said.

    Passing the measure first and maybe fixing it later is a poor policymaking choice; instead, create a measure for the 2022 ballot with a commission that starts with a blank slate, she said.

    “Today, the council has taken a bold step toward making Oakland a welcoming place for small businesses, while inviting our larger corporations to make a deeper investment from which all Oaklanders will benefit,” Thao said in a statement.

    “Once implemented, this new progressive tax structure will help guide Oakland through this economic crisis and nurture the small business growth that will define the city,” she said.

    Bas said she hopes the tax measure will be more equitable for business owners.

    “There is broad consensus that we must modernize Oakland’s business tax to become more equitable and fair, and to provide relief to our small businesses, so many disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and struggling long before the pandemic hit,” Bas said in a statement.

    In an online and telephone survey of 400 likely Oakland voters, at least 59% favored the shift in taxation. A simple majority would be required for a ballot measure to pass.

    Angela Ruggiero | Criminal Justice Reporter

    Angela Ruggiero covers criminal justice and the Alameda County Superior Court. She previously covered the Tri-Valley cities of Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore and Danville.

  • Thursday, August 20, 2020 11:06 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Richmond to ask voters to change business tax so it can reap more revenue

    Voters will choose whether to approve a new way to tax businesses

    By ANNIE SCIACCA | asciacca@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

    PUBLISHED: August 5, 2020 at 8:57 p.m. | UPDATED: August 8, 2020 at 9:35 a.m.

    RICHMOND — Richmond will ask voters to approve changes to the way businesses are taxed in an effort to almost double the city’s take from them.

    The City Council on Wednesday voted to put a measure on the November ballot asking voters to authorize taxing businesses based on their gross receipts instead of the number of employees.

    Currently, businesses pay a flat annual license tax of  $234.10 plus $46.80 per employee up to 25 employees and $40.10 for each additional employee.

    That would change if voters in November approve the proposed tax structure, under which businesses would have to pay a percentage of their gross receipts earned in Richmond, with the amount depending on the nature of their business and at a rate assigned per industry.

    In the proposed model, most businesses would pay between 0.06% and 0.68%. Grocers, for example, would pay 0.06% if they make up to $1 million in sales for the year, 1% if they make between $1 million and $2.5 million, and tiered up to 2% if they make $50 million or more annually in the city.

    A few industries would exceed the typical rate structure, including firearms and ammunition, which would be taxed at a rate of 2.4%, and cannabis, which would continue to be taxed at a rate of 5%.

    The rate structure would bring in an estimated $6.2 million in total revenue — $3.2 more than through the current structure.

    Though city staff had recommended taxing residential rental gross receipts at a flat rate of 1%, with a 50% discount for rent control properties, Councilmember Melvin Willis proposed using Berkeley’s model of taxing rentals at rates of 1.081% for the first four units and 2.88% for additional units. He also proposed giving property owners with four or fewer units a chance to credit the fees to the rent board so they don’t have to pay twice.

    A majority of the council approved his motion, with Mayor Tom Butt and Vice Mayor Nat Bates voting no and Demnlus Johnson abstaining.

    Bates said he believes changing the tax structure will unfairly burden businesses, especially at a time when many are barely hanging on amid the coronavirus pandemic fallout.

    “You’re sticking it to the people who are already hurting and they’re going to hurt even more,” he said, noting that businesses like Amazon, which city staff and leaders worked hard to bring into town, could be driven out by the tax.

    The measure has drawn support from workers and union members, who say the change would stimulate job creation because additional employees wouldn’t become a tax burden.

    They say large businesses that make more money would be taxed more under the progressive tax structure.

    Money generated by the tax rate change could go toward the city’s funding of “Richmond youth, libraries, parks, community centers, emergency response, and other city services that may see cuts due to a structural budget deficit compounded by COVID-19 related revenue shortfalls,” a city memo says. Because the money is considered a general tax, however, it could be spent other ways too.

    The ballot measure would need a simple majority of votes to pass.

    Despite a Friday deadline for submitting the measure to qualify it for the November ballot, the city can make small changes to it later such as lowering the tax rates (but not raising them) in the future. Council members agreed to form a working group to bring in voices from the business community and others to discuss what the rates for specific industries should be.

  • Wednesday, August 19, 2020 11:04 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General Xavier Becerra

    News Release

    August 18, 2020

    For Immediate Release
    (916) 210-6000

    Social Networks

    Visit the California Attorney General's Facebook

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    Print Version

    Attorney General Becerra Issues Consumer Alert on Price Gouging Following State of Emergency Declaration Due to Wildfires and Extreme Weather

    SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued a consumer alert following the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency due to statewide fires that have been exacerbated by the effects of a historic heat wave and sustained high winds. Attorney General Becerra reminds all Californians that price gouging during a state of emergency is illegal under Penal Code Section 396.

    “As families throughout the state face devastating fires and extremely dangerous weather, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’re being illegally cheated out of fair prices for essential goods and services,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our state’s price gouging law protects people impacted by an emergency from illegal price gouging on housing, gas, food, and other essential supplies. I encourage anyone who has been the victim of price gouging, or who has information regarding potential price gouging, to immediately file a complaint with our office online at oag.ca.gov/report, or to contact their local police department or sheriff’s office.”

    California law generally prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of an item before a state or local declaration of emergency. This law applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials, and gasoline. The law also applies to repair or reconstruction services, emergency cleanup services, transportation, freight and storage services, hotel accommodations, and rental housing. Exceptions to this prohibition exist if, for example, the price of labor, goods, or materials has increased for the business.

    Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to criminal prosecution that can result in a one-year imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions including civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation, injunctive relief, and mandatory restitution. The Attorney General and local district attorneys can enforce the statute.

    # # #

    You may view the full account of this posting, including possible attachments, in the News & Alerts section of our website at: https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-issues-consumer-alert-price-gouging-following-state-14

    © 2020 Department of Justice

    You may view all News & Alerts on our website at: https://oag.ca.gov/news

    Please visit the remainder of the Attorney General's site at: https://oag.ca.gov/

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  • Friday, August 14, 2020 11:02 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On August 3, 2020, a federal district judge ruled that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) exceeded its authority with respect to certain paid-leave eligibility requirements when interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

    Family at home

    Although the decision was issued by a federal district court in New York, employers in California should follow its interpretation until an appellate court reviews the decision or other courts weigh in on the issues. (You can read the full opinion here.)


    Here are the key takeaways:

    1. Employers Must Provide FFCRA Leave Even When There is Not Work Available.
    2. Employers May Only Ban Intermittent Leave When It Poses a Higher Risk of Infection.
    3. Employers May Not Impose Documentary Requirements as a Precondition to Leave.
    4. The DOL's Definition of "Health Care Provider" is Too Broad.

    Get more details on each takeaway here >>


    What Employers Need to Know:


    For now, employers should follow the court’s interpretation regarding work availability, intermittent leave, documentation requirements, and the definition of a "health care provider." Employers may refer to DOL guidance regarding all other FFCRA issues. 

  • Thursday, July 30, 2020 11:00 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    NOTE: SB 25 was pulled from Assembly Natural Resources Hearing on 8.6.20.  Given the upcoming deadlines, it is likely this bill will not move forward this year.   

    CSSA Members -

    Clarification – This is in regards to California SB 25 (Wiener) which would, until January 1, 2025, establish specified procedures for the administrative and judicial review of the environmental review and approvals granted for projects located in specified counties that are funded, in whole or in part, by specified public funds or public agencies and that meet certain requirements. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.  The language for SB 25 is based on US Senate Bill SB 2787 (Wyden)

    Among other items this this bill expands prohibitions of investments in certain luxury assets including private planes, sports stadiums, luxury rental properties, and self-storage facilities

    The author's staff had received push back from lawmakers claiming the bill was too broad so they are looking to amend it and are open to revisiting/removing self storage.

    They are looking for data regarding jobs and how denying self storage in these zones would negatively impact the community.

    If you are involved in utilizing opportunity zones for self storage projects and can help supply the need (value) constructing and managing self storage facilities, please provide information, data, or talking points to the SSA/CSSA lobbyist - Naomi Padron at npadron@mchughgr.com 

    For a synopsis and link to the bill visit our Legislative/Legal tab on the website - 2020 Self Storage Bills - https://californiaselfstorage.org/page-18145/9136213

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 11:19 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Split Roll – Your Opinion Needed Now!

    Here is a great, easy opportunity to spread the word that split roll is dangerous.  Last week the Orange County Register published an article that most likely appeared in all the Southern California News Group’s (SCNG) 12 papers.  They are seeking opinions on split roll, so this is a great time to make the point that it must be defeated.

    Please take a few minutes to let SCNG newspapers know that split roll must be defeated.  Read this article and use the email address noted:  opinion@scng.com. I urge you to complete the survey today!

    The California Self Storage Association is joining a coalition of business organizations including the CA Business Properties Association (CBPA), Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and NAIOP (the commercial real estate development association). Check out the following: (https://stophigherpropertytaxes.org/) for more information on the coalition, facts, and articles opposing split role tax.

    Below are some talking points, some provided by NAIOP and CBPA, regarding the split roll tax and may provide you with information to share when completing the survey:

    •         CSSA, which represents all self storage owners throughout California strongly oppose the split roll initiative.  It’s devastating impact on the California economy will negatively impact all the businesses and people of California.  At a time of record high State tax revenues, why is this even being considered?
    •         The measure’s $11 billion tax increase on businesses, the largest in California history, will ultimately get passed on to consumers in the form of increased prices on just about everything people buy and use, including groceries, fuel,utilities, day care, health care and more.
    •         Californians already face some of the steepest taxes in the country.  Our cost of living is at a record level – highest in the nation.  Split roll will only make this far worse which will cause more businesses to leave the state,thereby reducing
    •         With zero transparency and accountability, and no protections against waste, fraud and abuse, this measure turns billions of new tax dollars over to school administrators and local politicians with no guarantee the money will be spent in the classroom. This measure is so full of flaws that we should not give schools more money until there are assurances, they will spend it better.  Supporters say that this measure will help schools, but only 40 cents of every new tax dollar with go to K-12 schools, while 60 cents will go to local governments with zero requirements on how the money should be spent.
    •         Split role tax will especially impact small businesses, like commercial buildings, shopping centers, and self storage. Smaller businesses are less able to absorb a sudden increase.
    •       It will create volatility in in property tax revenue due to the fluctuation of property values, thereby causing volatility in rent increases. Prop 13 stabilized the flow of property tax revenue by pricing values year to year.

    The sponsors of the split roll initiative have already indicated that if this measure passes, they will come after Proposition 13 protections on homeowners next. This will make the housing crisis even worse by increasing the costs of owning and renting a home – it could even force people out of their homes like what happened before the voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978. 

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 10:58 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)


    Reminder: July 1, 2020 is when minimum wage increases in several California cities.   


     Employers with 25 or fewer employees

    Employers with 26 or more employees

    100-plus employees





















    $14.00 (26-99 employees)





    Hayward and San Carlos cities have delayed their anticipated local minimum wage increase until January 1, 2021, given the economic burdens imposed by COVID-19.

    Remain positive and stay safe,

    Ross Hutchings

    Ross Hutchings, CAE

    Executive Director – California Self Storage Association

    5325 Elkhorn Blvd., # 283, Sacramento, CA 95842


    888.CSSA.207 (888.277.2207) – toll-free office, 949.554.3292 – mobile


California Self Storage Association

Contact Us

California Self Storage Association
5325 Elkhorn Blvd., #283 
Sacramento, CA 95842

P: 888-CSSA-207 or 888-277-2207

EMAIL: info@californiaselfstorage.org

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