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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

GOP Tax Reform: Leave No Taxpayer Behind

Many California Republicans are excited about the federal GOP tax reform bill and anxious for tax relief, but others are warning about the negative impacts on individual taxpayers in high tax states like California and New York.

I spoke with California’s Congressman Tom McClintock this week to drill down into the corporate and personal aspects of the tax reform bill, to understand the nitty-gritty.

The bottom line for Rep.… Read More

Katy Grimes

John Cox: Putting Citizens Back in Charge of Government

California’s promise of opportunity for everyone has been all but eradicated by gross political mismanagement, political corruption, and watered down representation. It’s time to drain the swamp in California politics.

While California voters overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, when polled, Californians show strong signs of wanting political reform in the Golden State.

They may get their wish if John Cox has anything to say.

Cox, who is running for Governor, and is the author of the Neighborhood… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Legislative Spending Rampage Continues

If there is any doubt that this Democrat-controlled Legislature is on a spending rampage, take a look at the legislation below currently blowing through the Assembly and Senate.

All Democrat-authored bills

AB 1770 (Asm. Luis Alejo) makes non-citizens who are in the U.S. legally eligible for the California Food Assistance Program. AB 1770 is on suspense.

AB 1809 (Asm. Patty Lopez) eliminates the consideration of an individual’s assets as a condition of eligibility for CalWORKS. AB 1809 is currently being held in a committee.

SB 1010 (Sen. Ed Hernández) requires health plans and insurers to report information about prescription drug pricing to the State. Requires Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance DOI to compile a report regarding the overall impact of drug costs on health care pricing.

AB 492 (Asm Lorena Gonzalez) provides an additional $50 per month to CalWORKS recipients for diapers for children under 2 years old.

SB 1465 (Sen. Pres. Kevin De León) allows the Governor to sign agreements making Los Angeles the host of the 2024 Olympic Games, including an agreement for joint liability.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Board Votes to Cut State Gas Tax

Today, I joined a 3-2 Board of Equalization vote to lower the state excise tax on gasoline by 2.2 cents per gallon effective July 1, 2016.

Our vote was simply a matter of fairness. Californians overpaid gas tax last year because of a bizarre formula known as the ‘gas tax swap’ passed by lawmakers in 2010. Lowering the rate is the right thing to do, and I’m sure Californians will welcome this reduction.

Unfortunately, even after the cut goes into effect, Californians will still pay some of the highest taxes in the nation. What we need now is for lawmakers to simplify our tax laws and look for ways to provide value for the money that Californians send to government.… Read More

Katy Grimes

50 Shades of Brown: Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrat Party Rule

As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to sign another climate change agreementwith “government leaders from around the world,” as his office announced, remember the recent agreement Brown got into with the scandalized Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber. “In October 2013,California Gov. Jerry Brown, together with the Governors of Oregon and Washington and the British Columbia Premier,signedthePacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, “to align climate change policies and promote clean energy,’” I wrote in February.

The Pacific Coast Collaborative links with theWest Coast Infrastructure Exchange(WCX), a compact betweenCalifornia, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, formed in 2013 to promote “the type of new thinking necessary to solve the West Coast’s infrastructure crisis.” And the WCX is linked to… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Revenue Report Dangerous in the Wrong Hands

At the request of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, the Board of Equalization’s Research and Statistics Section today released a report showing the State of California could reap up to $122.6 billion by imposing sales and use tax on services.

The size and scope of California’s service-related industry is mind-blowingly large, and the last thing overtaxed Californians need is another tax. In fact, these numbers are dangerous in the hands of legislators who want to raise taxes.

However, I hope this report stimulates conversation about how taxes can be simpler, and how we can attract more jobs to our state.

Although I strongly oppose Senate Bill 8 (Hertzberg), which would impose a $10 billion tax increase on service industries, I am open to considering a broader sales tax if it’s part of revenue neutral tax reform, such as abolishing the Franchise Tax Board and California’s income tax, along with other taxes that destroy jobs.

I’ve called for dynamic economic modeling that would show the benefits of such a change and look forward to being able to share those results with you… Read More

Katy Grimes

Extremist LGBT Agenda Dominates CA New Public School Curriculum

Major changes are being proposed to the California History-Social Science Curriculum “Frameworks” through an administrative process that is getting no attention.

The California Department of Education has been reviewing recommended edits to California History and Social Science frameworks from Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender special interest groups, following passage of Senate Bill 48, by Sen. Mark Leno, and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, both of San Francisco, in 2011.

California public school students will now… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Runner Sponsors Legislation to Refund Illegal Taxes

This year, I am sponsoring legislation to extend common sense protections to taxpayers. Assembly Bill 867, authored by Assemblyman Donald Wagner, would require the state to provide a full refund to all individuals who paid a tax later declared unconstitutional or illegal.

AB 867 is identical to AB 2510 (Wagner) and SB 1327 (Knight), legislation I sponsored in 2014. Legislative committees blocked both bills from advancing last year.

It is criminal that the State of California can keep money it illegally collects from its citizens. Anyone who in good faith pays what ends up being an illegal tax should get their money back. It’s as simple as that.

Currently, taxpayers are only eligible to receive refunds if they have exhausted all their administrative appeals remedies, even if the tax they paid is later declared illegal or… Read More

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