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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Coupal

Local Governments Rigging Elections — Again

With all the state and local taxes on the November ballot, one would think that government at all levels in California was starved for revenue. But even a cursory review of the Golden State’s “tax machine” reveals that the tax burden is already too heavy for many to bear. California has the highest income rate in America (likely to be extended for another 12 years) and the highest state sales tax rate. And despite Prop 13, our per capita property tax collections ranks no lower than 14th in the nation.

In the June primary, voters already passed 29 out of 40 local tax increases. But those taxes register as barely a blip compared to the earthquake confronting voters in less than three weeks. According to the California Taxpayers Association, there are 228 local tax measures representing a cumulative tax increase of more than $3 billion per year, along with 193 bonds (more than $30 billion’s worth) that would dramatically increase annual property taxes.

After the June primary, this column observed that the high rate of passage reflected not so much a love for higher taxes as it did the fact that the tax raisers have become expert at gaming the system to pass… Read More

Kevin Dayton

How to Rebuild the California Republican Party After the 2012 (Yes, 2012) Presidential Election

In the three months following the November 2012 presidential general election,I compiled and summarized the published advice from partyleaders, thinkers, and grassroots activists about how to reverse what was perceived at the time as an increasing irrelevant and ineffectiveCalifornia Republican Party.

Now it’s two weeks before the November 2016presidential general election. Let’s review that four-year old advice and see who was on the right track.

ADVICE TO THE CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN PARTY

1.Carl DeMaio: former think tankdirector andSan Diego City Councilmember who narrowly lost the November 2012 race for Mayor of San Diego despite a horrible election night for California Republicans. He ran for Congress in 2014 against Democrat incumbent Scott Peters and again came up just short with 48.4% of the vote. He is now a radio talk show host on KOGO.

The November 16, 2012Orange County Registerpublished DeMaio’s opinion pieceBuildingRead More

Ed Ring

Put Public Employees on Secure Choice and Social Security

“The state shall not have any liability for the payment of the retirement savings benefit earned by program participants pursuant to this title.” – California State Senator Kevin De Leon,August 7, 2016, Sacramento Bee

This quote from Senator De Leon, one of the main proponents of California’s new “Secure Choice” retirement program for private sector workers, says it all. Because De Leon’s comment reveals the breathtaking hypocrisy and stupefying innumeracy of California’s legislature.

Let’s start with hypocrisy.

De Leon is careful to protect private sector taxpayers from having to bail out their new state administered “secure choice” retirement plan, but no such safeguardhas ever been seriously contemplated for the state administered pension plans for state and local government workers. These plans, using official numbers, are underfunded by about $250 billion. If you don’t assume California’s 92 state and… Read More

Katy Grimes

Will Apple Valley become California’s Flint, MI?

The town of Apple Valley, California, deep in the heart of the Victor Valley of San Bernardino County, has a ballot initiative battle grappling with accountability for bond debt. But it’s gotten political with citizens claiming elected members of the Apple Valley Town Council have ceased making decisions in the best interests of their community.

Nearly 4,000 Apple Valley residents signed petitions to bring Measure V to the Nov. 8 ballot to require voter approval of any Town project of $10 million or more, including the Town Council’s attempt to take over the existing Liberty Utilities’ water system.

The citizen-initiated Measure V, called the “Right to Vote on Debt Act,” was also unanimously approved by the Town Councilto be on the Nov. ballot. But then the so-called Republican Apple Valley… Read More

Jon Coupal

MAKING IT HARDER FOR POLITICIANS TO FIB TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS

It was Will Rogers who said, “If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” If the renowned satirist were with us today, he would not be shocked by the dishonesty of the Sacramento political class, even if the rest of us find it offensive.

Many of our current class of politicians attempt to present themselves as standing for the interests of average folks. They pay lip service to low and moderate income Californians, while California continues to have the highest sales and gas taxes in the nation. They claim to be supporters of property ownership, then attack Proposition 13 and then proceed to make it easier for government to take private property through eminent domain.

For those trying to sort out who is actually representing average taxpayers and who, instead, is doing the bidding of powerful special interests, the just released Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Legislative Report Card will help. The Report Card holds lawmakers accountable by documenting how lawmakers have voted on issues important to taxpayers.

To read the entire column click here… Read More

Richard Rider

Another VERY high paying company leaving California

California is losing another high paying firm to a tax-free state. This company is so rich that it pays EVERYONE who wears its corporate uniform AT LEAST a big six figure income. Some get 7 or 8 figure annual incomes.

That departing company is (currently) known as the Oakland Raiders. Soon to be known as the Las Vegas Raiders. Or perhaps the Nevada Raiders.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/nfl-vegas/oakland-raiders-owner-mark-davis-praises-historic-day-nevada

Are taxes the only factor? Nope. But a zero percent state income tax will make recruiting high quality free agents much easier for the Raiders than the current “enticement” of paying a 13.3% California state income tax — a tax that in essence will become a permanent tax after the November election. Moreover, rich young men would doubtless prefer to be in glitzy Las Vegas than in decaying Oakland.

And let us not forget the 0% Nevada CORPORATE state income tax. The CA corporate income tax is 8.8% —… Read More

Ed Ring

How Unionized Government Enables the Iron Law of Oligarchy

Political Parties,” published by the German political theorist Roberto Michels in 1911, is a relatively obscure book. But in this book, Michels offers a concept that has increasing relevance today, the “Iron Law of Oligarchy.” This law is summed up reasonably well in its Wikipedia entry:

“According to Michels all organizations eventually come to be run by a ‘leadership class’, who often function as paid administrators, executives, spokespersons, political strategists, organizers, etc. for the organization. Far from being ‘servants of the masses’, Michels argues this ‘leadership class,’ rather than the organization’s membership, will inevitably grow to dominate the organization’s power structures. By controlling who has access to information, those in power can centralize their power successfully, often with little accountability, due to the apathy, indifference and non-participation most rank-and-file members have in relation to their organization’s decision-making processes. Michels argues that democraticRead More

Jon Coupal

GOBLINS AND GOBS OF TAX HIKES – PLUS YOUR PROPERTY TAX BILL

As any reader of this column knows, voters will be confronted come election day with billions and billions of new tax hikes and bond measures (which, of course, result in their own tax hikes). But let’s not forget that there is another reason for taxpayer to experience a heightened sense of anxiety over the next few weeks.

For many the real scare this time of year is not the monsters at our doors on Halloween but the property tax bill in the mail box. But, while the “tax and spend” lobby increases its influence in Sacramento, homeowners have still been able to count on Proposition 13 for some degree of protection. Because Proposition 13 limits increases in a property’s assessed value to two percent annually, most property owners have a good idea what their tax bill will be even before opening the envelope. But homeowners still need to examine carefully their property tax bill because mistakes can happen.

Taxpayers should understand the various charges and make certain that they are not being assessed for more than they are legally obligated to pay. The best way to check a tax bill is to have your previous year’s bill handy for… Read More

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