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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Jon Coupal


In Chicago, escalating property taxes are headline news. With the average property tax bill due to go up by 13 percent – and more increases in subsequent years virtually guaranteed – home ownership in the Windy City is in deep peril. No one seems happy except the moving companies.

This drastic tax increase is the result of bad decisions by corrupt officials who have caved to city employee pension demands that are unsustainable without massive borrowing. And that borrowing will be paid for by massive property tax hikes. But if homeowners are considering fleeing exorbitant taxation, they may have to travel a good distance. Illinois residents, even without the Chicago pension tax, are already paying the highest effective property tax rate in the nation at 2.67 percent, according to a recent study by CoreLogic, an Irvine, California-based provider of data to the financial and real estate industries.

Nationally, the study shows the median property tax rate is 1.31 percent of value.

Click here to read the entire column… Read More

Even Governor Jerry Brown Admits Income Taxes Destabilize State Budget

For many years, Rich States, Poor States, Tax Myths Debunked and other ALEC publications have warned against overreliance on state level income taxes – on both personal and business income. The reasons are numerous and range from the adverse economic effects of the taxes, to purely public finance objections, such as the volatile nature of income tax revenues.

Recently, even liberal Governor Jerry Brown joined in the chorus and admitted Sacramento’s overreliance on income taxes has now caused some serious budget problems for the Golden State. This is more than somewhat ironic, since the governor helped pass the very same income tax hikes that exacerbated the problem. A headline from Tax Notes read “California Governor Says Dependence on Income Tax Hurts Revenue Stability.” The story goes on to report that “California’s tax revenue in April was over $1 billion less than projected, and according to the summary of Brown’s May budget revision, the state is predicting a shortfall of $1.9 billion over what was forecast.” Many on the political Left rejoiced when, in 2012, California increased taxes and retroactively saddled hardworking taxpayers with the… Read More

Richard Rider

CA did well financially in 2015, but largely offset by soaring CA cost of living

In a dramatic improvement, California did quite well economically in 2015 — as measured by job creation and GDP. Not good when looking back since the start of the recession, but definitely good this past year.

Unfortunately much of our improvement compared to the other states was offset by our ever-worsening cost of living rankvis-à-visour domestic state competitors. California’s COL ranked 36.2% higher than the national average in the 1st quarter of 2016, up from “only” 34.3% in 2014. Only the very expensive island state of Hawaii has a higher COL than the Golden State.

Composite Cost of Living (Scaled)

First Quarter 2016

Read More

Katy Grimes

Fraudulent Confirmation Hearing for ALRB’s Genevieve Shiroma

How confident should Senators be when a governor’s appointee to the state Ag Labor Board faced opposition testimony with a line out the hearing room door, “and around the block,” but not one person attended in support?

A testy and contentious confirmation hearing before the Senate Rules Committee Monday for Genevieve Shiroma, a 17-year member of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, ended after extensive testimony with a proverbial “F-you” to farm workers, when lawmakers voted 3-2 along party lines to confirm Shiroma.

Many Gov. Jerry Brown appointees must be confirmed by the state Senate. But they first receive approval from the five-member Senate Rules Committee before receiving an up or down vote by the full Senate. The committee is run by Democrats, and chaired by Senate leader Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles.

What was supposed to be thorough… Read More

Ed Ring

How Gov’t Unions and Crony Capitalists Exploit Global Warming Concerns

If anyone is looking for evidence that government unions use their immense influence to support the growth of an authoritarian state, look no further than their unequivocal support for global warming “mitigation,” and all attendant agencies and laws to support that goal.

In 2006 California’s union-controlled legislature passed AB32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act,” a measure that was touted as a trailblazing breakthrough in the dire challenge to avoid catastrophic climate change.The premise behind AB32 is that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant, and that eliminating CO2 emissions is necessary to prevent the planet’s climate from overheating, with all the apocalyptic consequences; rising oceans inundating coastal regions, epic droughts cascading through the world’s fragile forests and killing them, extreme storms, acidic oceans, collapsing agriculture – the end of life as we know it.

Maybe that’s true – and maybe not – but how it’s being managed is a corrupt, misanthropic, epic scam.

If anyone is looking for evidence that… Read More

Ray Haynes

Why This Movement Conservative Will Support Donald Trump

My time in politics has taught me a few rules: (1) You have to win to implement good policy; (2) The purpose of winning is to implement policy, not achieve power therefore winning without good ideas and policies is meaningless; (3) You win by addition and not by subtraction by joining natural allies, not alienating them; (4) Politics is a team sport, the factions fight with each other in the primaries to choose the quarterback, but once chosen, the only way to win is to join with natural allies in the general election.

The Republican Party is made up of several factions:

(1) Business Interests: these interests tend to fund the operations, they have no guiding principles (usually) except what is best for their business; (2) Libertarian/Small Government activists: These are the inheritors of the traditional (Jeffersonian) liberalism, anti-tax, small government, individual liberty activists. They may disagree on small issues, but they are the core of the “leave me alone” coalition, driven by their desire for freedom to pursue their life without government interference; (3) Big government conservatives: these are the… Read More

Asm. Bill Brough

SB 1400 punishes businesses for enforcing the law

In January of this year, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released a poll that measured the approval rating of the State Legislature, and the results were interesting, to be sure.

According to the survey, voters were evenly divided on the question, with 44 percent siding with approval and the same number saying they disapprove. If the voters take a good look at Sacramento’s recent performance, however, I predict the Legislature’s approval rating won’t be evenly divided for long.

Just to cite one example, I believe that the recently introduced Senate Bill 1400 will strike many as at once unfair, unnecessary and unable to deal effectively with any of California’s real problems. To be sure, it isn’t the only bad idea in the Capitol building, but I believe it so clearly represents the flawed and failing way some of my… Read More

Jon Coupal

Concealed Transparency: Legislature Tries to Fool the Public Again

You might have heard some news lately about legislative transparency, referring to efforts to subject what goes on in the California Legislature to meaningful public scrutiny. One headline actually read “California Senate Approves Measure Requiring More Transparency.” While an average citizen might rejoice at this news, they should be cognizant of what Paul Harvey used to characterize as “the rest of the story.”

Fact is, the California Legislature has absolutely no interest in exposing to public scrutiny how it does business. Indeed, the only reason lawmakers have introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment 14 (SCA 14) is to try to force the proponents of a much stronger ballot measure to the bargaining table in an effort to dilute the impact of this genuine reform. It is our hope that the proponents of the real transparency measure, the California Legislature Transparency Act (CLTA), decline the invitation.

On the surface, lawmakers’ SCA 12 doesn’t look too bad. It would require that bills be publicly available for 72 hours before they can be taken up for a vote and that visual recordings of all legislative proceedings be posted online. These… Read More

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