My good friend Rex Hime recently penned a column for the Flash Report citing several instances where conservatives in other states supported “e-fairness” legislation.
That’s an interesting debate for another day. The issue before us today is not about the “Amazon Tax” itself—that bill already passed the Legislature this summer with only one Republican vote.
The issue before us is whether or not Republican lawmakers should support Assembly Bill 155—a blatant attempt by Democrats to block California voters from holding a referendum on the “Amazon Tax.” By cementing this failed policy into law with a 2/3rds vote of the Legislature, California voters would be denied the opportunity to overturn the “Amazon Tax.”
AB 155 is a slap in the face to the nearly one million California voters who have already signed petitions calling for a referendum of the “Amazon Tax.”
The Democrats know California voters aren’t on their side on this issue. A recent USC/LA Times poll found that a majority of young people, Blacks and Latinos, and a plurality of all Californians, oppose the new law.
Reputable taxpayer rights groups uniformly oppose this sneak attack on voters. Americans for Tax Reform warns: “For lawmakers who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a vote in favor of this plan is a violation of your commitment to constituents to ‘oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.’”
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association also strongly opposes AB 155, noting that its implications are “drastic” and would “reinforce the desire of anti-taxpayer interests to undercut the initiative and referendum process.”
Even the San Francisco Chronicle has opined that AB 155 is “bad policy and bad politics.” When is the last time that Grover Norquist and the Chronicle agreed on anything?
As Thomas Jefferson said: “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”
Squashing the “Amazon Tax” referendum effort would be the height of legislative arrogance. All true conservatives should vote no.
I recently sent a letter to all Republican legislators urging them to oppose this bill. You can read that letter here.