To Republican Legislators
From Jon Fleischman
RE: SB 1455
Today you will be asked to consider a vote for SB 1455 (Kehoe), a bill that contains massive increases in car taxes/fees to the tune of over $2.3 billion dollars. As a tax increase, this bill is appropriately scored as requiring a two-thirds vote, which means that in order for it to get to the Governor’s desk, it must garner bipartisan support — yes, Republicans would have to vote for it.
Like all of the bills put forward by the Democrats that require a two-thirds vote, this bill contains some regulatory release for some businesses that are being slammed with onerous regulations due to the outrageous AB 32 regulations and other noxious CARB edicts. This continues an ongoing practice — forcing Republicans to pay Peter to pay Paul — or to be more specific, to provide regulatory relief for one group of people by passing taxes/fees on another group of people.
Understand that when the various car taxes/fees that are set to sunset in 2015 that would be extended under SB 1455 will into the next decade, to 2023, they were promised to be TEMPORARY. That is why the END. It is some sort of ‘rhetorical slight of hand’ to characterize this as anything other than a major tax increase, because in the absence of legislative action, as promised, these taxes GO AWAY.
No one is saying that over-regulated California businesses should not get relief, but not at the expense of a massive, broad-based tax increase on every automobile owner in California.
By the way, remember that the Democrats have a strong track record of reneging on such deals, and while it takes a two-thirds vote to enact this major tax increase spanning the better part of a decade, as soon as January the majority party, on a majority vote, can make any changes they want on the regulatory relief.
And make no bones about this – it is a tax increase. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association scores this as a tax increase, and has sent out an alert to their members urging them to call you to oppose it. Americans for Tax Reform, another public policy group that assesses such things, says it is a tax increase.
As long as the Democrats can continue to over-regulate on a majority vote, and then depend on GOP support to raise taxes to help mitigate/pay-for the negative regulatory consequences of their actions. This is enabling the bad policies of the majority party.
Finally, it is significant that only a week ago no one was having this conversation because the parts of SB 1455 that are the massive tax increases were slipped into the bill just a week ago. A virtual “gut and amend” (or maybe just a substantive “amend”) that has been constantly decried by Republicans as a bad way to do business. There has been no opportunity to hear reaction from the one interest group that does not have high-paid lobbyists in the Capitol – the taxpayers. This is another last-minute action where the interests in Sacramento (even if in this case some of them are “good guys”) are promoting a last-minute deal that benefits them to the expense of the taxpayers (in this case, car-owning taxpayers).
Fortunately, while the taxpayers don’t have lobbyists, they DO have representatives in the process – YOU. Please reject SB 1455 and its massive tax increases. Please vote no.
P.S. Expect the Governor’s campaign to pass Proposition 30 to highlight the fact that if taxes were too high in California, explain the bipartisan support for this tax increase.