FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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BOE Member George Runner

Tax Hikes Look Silly as State Gets Financial Windfall

It must be silly season in Sacramento. As the state receives billions in unanticipated revenues, liberal tax-and-spend lawmakers are proposing massive tax hikes, proving once again that they are out of touch.

One key measure of reality ignored by liberal lawmakers is Tax Freedom Day. Calculated annually by the Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day is the day Americans have earned enough money to pay their annual tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels.

This year, National Tax Freedom Day arrived on April 24, but Californians didn’t achieve tax freedom until May 3. California’s Tax Freedom Day is the fourth latest in the nation. Only Connecticut, New Jersey and New York have later dates.

By proposing higher taxes, liberal legislators are trying to make taxpayers work even longer to pay their tax bills.

The other reality ignored by would-be tax hikers is that due to the state’s volatile tax structure, a booming tech sector and soaring stock market, state officials are now swimming in cash.

In the critical month of April, state income tax revenues exceeded projections by $1.8 billion.

Just how much money is that? If state… Read More

James Fitzgerald

AB 842: Stop Employers from Double Paying for Health Care

Imagine walking in to pay for your morning coffee and you reach into your wallet to grab your normal $2.35. All of a sudden the barista informs you, “excuse me but we have a pay twice special and you will have to pay twice for that coffee.” Your reaction would probably be that of dismay, bewilderment and anger; followed by a quick and empty handed departure from the coffee shop.

Now imagine if the Government mandated you to buy a cup of coffee every day and if you didn’t pay for it you would be penalized. This scenario is exactly what employers in the construction field are faced with when they are asked to bid on projects with a Project Labor Agreement, but instead of coffee, contractors are forced to pay twice for health insurance.

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), government has now established a required standard for… Read More

Ed Ring

Libertarians, Government Unions, and Infrastructure Development

“Alright, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” – John Cleese, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, 1979

Any discussion of California’s neglected infrastructure has to recognize the three factors most responsible, libertarians, environmentalists, and government unions. Picking libertarians as the first example is not by accident, because libertarians are perhaps the most unwitting participants in the squelching of public infrastructure investment. By resisting government involvement in any massive public works project, libertarians provide cover to public sector unions who know that public works fundingcompetes for tax revenues with their own pay and benefits.

When it comes to squelching public infrastructure investment, however, nobody can compete with California’s environmentalist lobby. Their lawsuitshave stalled infrastructure development for decades. And the identity of interests between government unions and environmentalists is multi-faceted. The most obvious is that when there is no… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacramento’s Billion Dollar 
Budget Fairy Tale

Subtitle: The Fleecing of Sacramento’s Taxpayers

Sacramento’s City Manager John Shirey released the proposed 2015/2016 budget last week. It’s clear that this city manager, the mayor, and the city council members are cavalier with their spending of other people’s money.More is never enough. And the word “austerity” is not in their vocabularies.

The other important issue to note is even with his latest attempt to become a strong mayor squashed (again) by the voters last year, Mayor Kevin Johnson is the driving force anyway behind this budget and the decisions on how the City spends taxpayers’ money.

The Fleecing

Some are calling this the “Strong Mayor Through The Back Door” budget plan. In fact, theSacramento Taxpayers Associationrecently held its first ever,Sacramento Taxpayers… Read More

Jon Coupal

HJTA Initiative Would Make Housing More Affordable

As part of an ongoing effort to help those who struggle to keep a roof​ over their heads, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has filed an​ initiative that would increase the homeowners exemption and the​ renters tax credit.This is the first step in qualifying the initiative, the​ California Homeowners and Renters Tax Relief Act of 2016, for the​ ballot.The Office of the Attorney General has about 60 days to provide​ a​ title and summary so that signature gathering can begin.

Only about one-third of Californians can afford to realize the American​ dream of owning their own home. The homeowners’ property tax​ exemption of $7,000 (worth a $70 deduction on your property taxes)​ has not been increased since 1972 when the median priced home sold​ for $28,660​. Currently, an average home is selling for nearly ten (10)​ times that amount, and yet the homeowners’ exemption remains​ unchanged. Increasing the homeowners’ property tax exemption from $7,000 to​ $32,000 will save every homeowner in California an additional $250 per​ year.​ This will help to mitigate the heavy financial burden placed on​ homeowners from… Read More

Assemblyman Jim Patterson

Assembly Hearing to Shed Light on True Commitment to Farmworker Rights

Central Valley farm workers will leave their jobs in the fields and make the journey to Sacramento tomorrow morning to support a proposed new law that would finally give them the same rights afforded to almost every other union member in America and it’s my sincere hope that they are victorious.

As the law stands today California farm workers are essentially powerless when it comes to determining their own labor contracts. They can’t be in the room when their contracts are being hammered out by the union and the Ag Labor Board, they don’t have the right to approve or decline the contract that was created without their knowledge or input. Also, if the union they chose to represent them abandons them, they have no recourse.

Thousands of farm workers from the Central Valley have been… Read More

Katy Grimes

Farm Employees Want ‘Right-To-Work’ In Union Dominated California

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently signed a right-to-work bill into law. This is significant because a”right-to-work” law is a statute that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment.

In California, Gov. Jerry Brown has ignored thousands of farm workers who don’t want to be unionized. Apparently there is no “right-to-work” in California under this governor.

The significant labor reforms enacted by Walker have struck many important blows against organized labor, effectively ending collective bargaining for Wisconsin public workers. In the four years since these reforms were enacted, the state’s most influential labor unions have been forced to… Read More

Jon Coupal

CALIFORNIA MOTORISTS “DON’T GET NO RESPECT”

At nearly 66 cents per gallon, California motorists pay the second highest gasoline tax in the nation. When the hidden “carbon tax” on producers — which raises the price of a gallon of gas about 15 cents — is counted, our state is far and away number one.

To add insult to injury, we are told that we are not paying enough. Sacramento has been hatching plans to squeeze even more from motorists including a proposal to charge every driver a $52 annual transportation fee, and a monitoring program so that car owners can be charged for miles driven.

Now there is no question that road and bridge maintenance is lagging in the Golden State. Most counties have an average pavement rating of “at risk” or “poor” according to a finding by the California Transportation Commission. In addition to the safety hazards caused by poor road maintenance, there is a direct cost to the average California driver of hundreds of dollars for vehicle maintenance and tire wear.

Before assuming that that the Sacramento politicians are justified in seeking to dig deeper into drivers’ wallets, it is important to point out that billions in transportation tax… Read More

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